The regulatory landscape for landlords is constantly changing, and it can be easy to overlook fire safety. However, landlords have some important legal obligations, and the consequences of non-compliance are severe. Here is a look at six vital tips for ensuring fire safety in rental properties.
Landlords cannot escape their legal obligations
There are a variety of regulations for both individual and HMO landlords, with the latter also having obligations arising from the Housing Act 2004. Further details can be found on the government’s website.
Smoke detectors are a must-have
Smoke detectors need to be fitted to all floors of properties where living accommodation exists. Note that if you choose to install battery-powered detectors rather than the mains-powered variety, you will need to ensure the batteries are operative. On the other hand, mains-powered detectors are susceptible to power failures.
Doors are a serious consideration
Self-closing doors ensure any fire is contained while protecting a staircase as an escape route. You should also ensure that external doors can always be opened from the inside. Hanging a spare key isn’t an ideal solution because it can get lost.
All properties require a fire risk assessment
This needs to assess any fire-related hazards in the building and the potential impact to the building and those living inside of it. It also needs to clearly set out the potential risk level for each hazard and identify control measures . These are often best undertaken by a professional trained in fire safety and fire suppression services, such as http://www.mainpoint.co.uk/, especially if your portfolio is large or contains HMO properties.
Stay up-to-date with your checks
Regular safety checks on electrical installations and sight checks on electrical peripherals such as sockets and lamps combined with regular cleaning of chimneys and flues will help you stay aware of any risks as they arise.
“Fire sterile” decoration is the sensible choice
This means having nothing flammable on the walls and using emulsion rather than any paper-based coverings such as wallpaper or hessian.
Perhaps the best piece of advice is to always consult a fire professional or the local Housing Officer if you have any questions. After all, it’s not just your investment that is at risk – human lives could be at stake.