If your property has been damaged or destroyed by a fire that you believe to have been caused by the negligence of someone else then you may have the right to claim for damages from the party or parties that were responsible for the cause and potentially for the spread of the fire too.
Whilst the first claim is self explanatory, the second less so. The law states there may be a claim possible against the individual responsible for the design or construction of your building if the fire was able to spread through your property causing damage and destruction due to their negligence.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, sets out that it is your responsibility to manage any fire-risk in your premises. Fire authorities no longer issue fire certificates and any previous certificates are no longer legally valid. It states that any person with a level of control over premises must ensure that the risks of fire are contained, and if a fire occurs, the occupants of the building can escape easily.
However, if you have met all your requirements under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it may be possible to make a claim against the architect, or the firm which constructed the building, if defects are found that may have led to the spread of the fire.
The Building Regulations 2010 state that ‘the building shall be designed and constructed so that, in the event of a fire, its stability will be maintained for a certain period…’ . The regulations also state that reasonable measures should be taken to prevent the spread of fire. Whilst these kind of measures are increasingly common there are still many examples where this is not the case and the property owners are not clear what they have and what they don’t have to do.
As ever the best route is to take expert advice early as to what your risks and liabilities are likely to be and ensure that you have the relevant insurance cover in place to protect you should the worst happen.
Give us a call and let us talk you through it. Our commercial insurance team have the knowledge and the experience that can make the difference to your business to protect you should the worst happen.
Just give us a call on 01509 274000