LANDLORD FIRE SAFETY
Covering key responsibilities and the equipment that you are legally obliged to provide, here is a landlord fire safety 101
- Fitting smoke alarms – a working smoke alarm must be fitted on every storey of a property, which has a room used wholly, or partly, as living accomodation. A living room will include a lounge, dining room and kitchen as well as a bathroom or toilet. It also includes a hall or landing. For individual flats located on one floor there will have to be at least one alarm within the flat itself or alternatively one provided outside the flat on the same floor of the building, i.e. a communual alarm. Likewise, for flats comprising more than one storey there will need to be a smoke alarm on each floor
- Fitting carbon monoxide alarms – these must be fitted in any room that is used partly or wholly as living accommodation which also contains any appliance which burns, or is capabable of burning, solid fuel. This would include log and coal burning stoves and open fires, even if they are not normally in use, but does not include gas and oil boilers. If an open fireplace is purely decorative and not useable then it is not covered by the regulations. Gas is not a solid fuel and so there is no requirement to fit one near a gas boiler however it is still advisble
- Check escape routes are clear – landlords must aalso check tenants have access to escape routes
- Check furnishings and furniture – for furnished properties, furniture and furnishings must be fire safe
- Fire Extinguishers – for HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation) e.g. if three or more tenants live there forming one houshold, landlords must also provide fire extinguishers. More on this here www.gov.uk/private-renting/houses-in-multiple-occupation
What happens if the landlord forgets?
- Failiure to comply comes with a fairly hefty civil penalty of up to £5,000
Do landlords need to complete an official Fire Risk Assessment?
- If you are an employer, owner, occupier of premises that aren’t a ‘single private dwelling’ (a private home) it is a legal requirement to complete a Fire Ris Assessment. Click here for more information on this https://www.london-fire.gov.uk/safety/the-workplace/fire-risk-assesements-your-responsibility
Should the worst happen, what are the landlord responsibilities after a fire
- If the fire is an accident then it is the tenant’s responsibility to advise the landlord, claim on their own insurance and find alternative accommodation if needed
- If the fire was started by a faulty appliance supplied by the landlord or by another aspect of the property it is the landlord’s responsibility to claim using their own housing/building insurance. In some cases landlords may need to find tenants temporary accommodation (this may be part of an insurance policy)
Where can I go for more advice on this?
- We rate The London Fire Brigade www.london-fire.gov.uk/safety/property-management/landlords-responsibilities/private-rented-sector-landlords/
- For all the official rules and regulations make sure to visit Gov.uk www.gov.uk/government/publications/smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-alarms-explanatory-booklet-for-landlords