Fire safety in private rented accommodation (non-HMO)
Landlords have a legal obligation to make sure that the risk posed by fire is managed and that safety measures are in place to reduce the risk. Council officers carrying out risk based inspections under the HHSRS must consider fire safety as part of the overall assessment of property standards and you will be expected to do all that is reasonable in the interests of safety. Specific regulations apply in addition to a risk based approach which are detailed in this page.
I'm a landlord - what should I do to make my property safe?
Although there is no legal requirement for a documented fire safety risk assessment for single houses, we recommend that you think about the risk posed by fire and the measures you deem sensible to reduce the risk. When officers from the Housing Enforcement team carry out an HHSRS survey at a rented property they will evaluate the likelihood of a fire occurring and then the severity of outcomes in terms of the tenant's health. All of our officers will have regard to the LACORS Housing - Fire Safety guidance when taking decisions. This guide is available in the downloads section and pages 34-38 provide examples of what we would expect to find in different types of single let property. You can also find out more about how to carry out a fire risk assessment by following the government's guidance for sleeping accommodation.
If you let a flat in a block of flats, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order FSO will apply to the common parts and place duties on the person responsible for their management. It is strongly recommended that you check with the person or company who has responsibility for the common parts that they have undertaken a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and that the findings are being properly implemented. Whilst the local authority has a responsibility for fire safety within individual flats, the Fire Service are responsible for the enforcement of the FSO. Specific guidance on this is included with in the downloads section - see fire safety in purpose built blocks of flats.
If you carry out building works within your property or purchase a property which has been subject to conversion (for example from a single dwelling to self contained flats) Building Regulations could apply. It's critical that these regulations are complied with, so be sure that this has been addressed in the conveyances process and/ or the planning phase of any building works. If you have any enquiries regarding Building Regulations, you can email our Building Control team.
Where should smoke alarms be situated?
What type of alarm should I install?
There are also different types of smoke alarm and whilst you will need a qualified electrician to install a mains wired system, you can purchase and install your own battery operated smoke alarms without any requirement for qualifications. The most common types of battery operated smoke alarms are optical and ionisation. Optical smoke alarms operate by emitting infra red light into the chamber which is scattered when smoke particles enter. This change is then detected by the electronic components in the alarm. Ionisation smoke alarms operate by ionising the air thus creating a small electrical charge. When smoke particles enter the chamber, the balance of the charge changes and this is detected. Ionisation smoke alarms are well suited for use on landings as they are very responsive to rapidly developing fires. However they are prone to false alarms and you may wish to consider changing to an optical type if this becomes a persistent problem.
Heat alarms are used for kitchen areas and garages and are not required by the regulations.
Should my property have fire doors?
Who is responsible for smoke alarms?
What if smoke detection is not provided or is faulty?
Downloads & Resources
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