Landlords are responsible for keeping their tenants and rental property safe against fire damage. You should be aware of the dangers of fire and actively prevent them.
Here are helpful fire safety tips for landlords:
- Be aware of and follow fire safety regulations
All landlords have legal obligations with regards to fire safety. The fire safety regulation is dependent on the kind of rental property as well as its location within the UK. Landlords should refer to the following fire safety guides:
- The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – covers the general fire safety in England and Wales.
- Housing Act 2004 – it is an Act to assess housing conditions, to regulate houses with multiple occupancy and certain other residential accommodation.
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulation 2015) – provides information about the alarms that are required inside a dwelling and common area.
- Fire safety: Approved Document – Building regulation in England which covers fire safety matters with and around buildings.
- Perform a thorough fire risk assessment
Landlords should carry out a thorough fire risk assessment for each rental property. This assessment should:
- identify all fire-related hazards within the premises
- analyse how those fire-related hazards would negatively affect the building and its occupants
- identify the level of risk of those hazards and the appropriate control measures for any important findings
It is best that a fire risk assessment is conducted by a fire safety professional.
- Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms
A landlord must provide a smoke detector on each storey of all rental properties. Carbon monoxide alarms should all be installed in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance. In addition to installation, landlords should inform tenants of their responsibility to check alarms once a week and clean them every three months.
- Check if you have access to escape routes at all times
Make sure that outside doors can be opened at all time from the inside. Put up notices indicating exit routes in case of fire and the area of the nearest phone for calling the fire brigade.
- Implement a no-smoking policy in your rental property
Based on Fire Statistics: England April 2015 toMarch 2016, “smokers’ materials (such as cigarettes, cigars or pipe tobacco) were the source of ignition in 7 per cent of accidental dwelling fires and 9 per cent of dwelling fire non-fatal casualties in 2015/16.”
With this kind of risk, landlords should implement a no-smoking policy and place smoking areas with safe cigarette disposal spots outside of the rental property.
- Provide fire alarms and extinguishers
If the property you are renting out is a large house in multiple occupations (HMO), you are required to provide fire alarms and extinguishers.
- Make sure the furniture and furnishings are fire safe
Landlords should ensure that the furniture and furnishings you provided are fire safe. It is also important that passages and corridors are ‘fire sterile’. This means they don’t have anything on the walls that can burn.
All furniture and furnishings that are provided in a rental property should comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988. The Regulations set the levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery. To ensure that they comply with the Regulation, a Landlord must ensure that all of their furniture is “fire resistant”, otherwise they will be committing a criminal offence. This Regulation is enforced by local Trading Standards Officers and Landlords can be fined up to £5,000 and sent to prison for six months.
- Educate your tenants
Landlords must be proactive by educating tenants on fire safety, fire hazards and what to do in the event of a fire. For instance, inform them of where the exit routes are.
We insist that all properties we let include smoke detectors at the rate of at least one per floor unless the property has a full fire alarm system. These must be checked and working when a tenant takes possession, but our Tenancy Agreement places the liability for on-going testing on the tenant.
Download and print off our FREE Landlords Compliance Checklist, which both the landlord and tenant sign to agree that all safety regulations and laws have been adhered to:
We will also check that they are operating at our routine visits under our Full Management service.
KeyRing Lettings is 100% dedicated to lettings and aims to give the highest level of service possible for landlords and tenants throughout the Mendip area. Contact us to find out more about our services.