There are steps landlords can take to try their best to prevent a fire taking place in their properties and to safeguard tenants. Every week we seem to be hearing reports of fires breaking out due to faulty electrics or appliances, putting peoples lives at risk. It’s devastating to read the newspapers or watch the TV reports on the damage it causes not only to the buildings, but to people’s lives too.
It has been said statistically, people who live in rented accommodation are seven times more likely to have a fire in the home. That’s an alarming statistic! If you are a landlord, it is paramount to do the necessary checks and to be aware of the dangers.
The following are tips for fire safety best practises:
Fire Safety Legislation
Regulations on fire safety vary depending on the type of property you rent out and where you are based in the UK. You can find a lot of useful information at the Residential Landlords Association website, or guidance at Gov.uk.
Conduct a Risk Assessment
Landlords should not only comply with fire safety legislation, but should also conduct fire risk assessments. There needs to be a ‘responsible person’ to deal with these matters and that tends to fall down to the responsibility of the landlord. There is a fire risk assessment provided by Gov.uk to help you get started.
Install Fire Safety Equipment
Landlords should protect their rental properties with fire safety equipment. This will include smoke detector alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and using anti-fire products where applicable. Depending on the size of the property, landlords may also consider fire doors, fire extinguishers and fire blankets.
Regular Fire Alarm Tests
It is a must to regularly check any fire alarms installed in your rented property, to ensure they are still in full working order, not just at the beginning of each new tenant moving in. If you can’t do it yourself, make your tenants aware that they should be testing them regularly.
Do you allow tenants to smoke in your property? If you do, it is recommended to issue a smoking policy to your tenants, to raise awareness and to educate them on the dangers. Depending on the type of property you own you may want to consider installing smoking points outside of the property and/or cigarette disposal spots.
Educate your tenants on fire safety and share any information you have with them, such as leaflets and any policies they should be aware of. Tell them what they need to do in the event of a fire, what fire hazards are about and how to use all electrical equipment safely.
Landlords not only have a legal responsibility, but a moral one too when protecting tenants from potential fire risks. It is imperative fire checks and fire safety equipment is installed before, during a tenancy agreement and between new tenants moving in.
If you would like to find out more about East Kent Electrical and how we can help landlords with their properties, please get in touch.