You’re a landlord, you have reliable tenants and everything’s going well – but do you know what fire safety responsibilities you have towards them?
It’s not just property developers or tower block owners who need to think about fire safety for their tenants – all landlords have a duty of care for their tenants.
Basic fire safety precautions in properties go a long way to providing additional safety from fire hazards and by failing to implement precautions landlords may be failing in their obligations under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – which could lead to prosecution. Some of the basic precautions are discussed below:
All landlords must carry out a regular fire risk assessment. A suitable and sufficient assessment should identify hazards, those at specific risk, discuss and develop control measures and be recorded and regularly reviewed. Although the fire risk assessment can be completed by the landlord, it’s wise to recruit a fire safety professional such as ourselves to carry this out.
Regulations make smoke detectors compulsory on all floors of the property, in addition carbon monoxide alarms should be fitted within rooms containing fire places or log burners.
If your rental includes furnishings of any type you must make sure that all of the furnishings are fire safe. This includes, materials, paints, white goods and decorations of all descriptions. Usually the information provided to you from the supplier will help with this.
Fire doors are an important measure for assisting control in a fire emergency by compartmentalising the fire and slowing down the spread. They will provide vital extra time for your tenants to escape and also assist in protecting your possessions from damage. Some properties are required to include fire doors as a compulsory measure.
A suitable means of escape for all tenants must be considered and accounted for in your emergency evacuation plan. Many landlords do their best to maximise the number of tenants in a property and often compromise the evacuation means of other tenants in the process. Often the worse case scenario in these situations is becoming trapped so provide a clear exit, make it known to your tenants and provide emergency lighting if possible.
Being a landlord can be a complicated business and the regulations demand differing levels of responsibilities from different types of landlords and properties. Have a look at the below link to make sure that you’re fulfilling your duties – avoid fines and save lives!