In the wake of the Grenfell tragedy, fire safety has been a concern for many of our landlords. With rules and regulations constantly changing for privately rented properties, many landlords have expressed that they just want to do everything they can to ensure that the properties they rent are fire safe.
At Rees Associates we support our landlords by informing them of their legal responsibilities, which is why we have put together this brief guide.
For every property you let you must undertake a fire risk assessment; this will highlight any and all fire-related hazards. The assessment should check for those hazards inside your property but also any that have an adverse impact on the building and any other occupants. You must also identify the control measures that are in place. If you have an HMO or a large property portfolio, this can often be undertaken by a fire safety professional on your behalf.
One of the easiest safety measures to install, and an incredibly important one, is the fitting of a smoke detector on each floor of your property. The detectors can be mains or battery operated, but if batteries are used you need to ensure that they are replaced regularly.
Don’t forget the silent killer
If solid fuel is used in the property you are required to have a carbon monoxide alarm in the room. That being said, we would always recommend that one is fitted anyway, should you have any gas appliances or supply into your home. This way you can ensure you are doing everything you can to protect your tenants from carbon monoxide poisoning, also known as ‘the silent killer’.
Fire alarm testing
You must test each alarm prior to the start of any tenancy, and it is usually the tenant’s responsibility to ensure they are working from there on in. That being said, as they can be out of sight out of mind, it’s worthwhile reminding your tenants to replace the batteries, and to undertake a monthly test.
When purchasing any home interior product for your property, you need to ensure that it is fire safe. This includes everything from furniture and furnishings, to curtains and carpets. Before buying just check the label to see if the item complies with fire safety regulations.
No matter what the property type, you need to ensure that there is at least one means of escape should a fire occur. More than that, you need to ensure that any escape route is accessible at all times. Our advice is that if you’re looking to fit a mortice lock to any door, you get one that allows you to open it from the inside rather than one with a key, as keys can get lost.