Top Tips for landlords on fire safety

Landlords - is your investment, or are your tenants, at risk? 

All landlords have legal obligations as regards fire safety. At the very least you should comply with the fire safety conditions of your property licence and ensure that there is an adequate means of escape in the event of fire.

You should carry out a fire risk assessment for each property you rent out. This should identify of all fire-related hazards within the premises and analyse how those hazards may adversely affect the building and its occupants. It is often best done by a fire safety professional, particularly if you have HMO properties.

You must fit smoke detectors on all stories of all properties where there is living accommodation. These can be either battery operated or mains powered. Battery operated smoke detectors need to have their batteries replaced regularly (which tenants may fail to do), those running from the mains may not work if there is a power strike.

Fit self-closing doors to all the rooms. These will contain a fire should there be one, and protect the staircase so everyone can get out.

Ensure that outside doors can be opened at all times from the inside. If you fit a mortice lock, get one with a thumb turn that can open it from the inside.

Consider banning smoking in the property.

Carry out regular electrical installation safety checks, and annual visual checks of sockets, switches, lamp holders, etc.

In HMOs place notices showing exit routes.

Consult your Private Housing Service or your local Fire Brigade , or retain the services of a private fire safety professional to carry out an assessment and provide a report before taking any tenants.

Photo credit to Sean MacEntee.