Landlords Responsibilities in relation to Fire Safety
In a previous blog we’ve covered what your responsibilities are when it comes to electrical inspection. In this article we’re going to focus on a landlord’s responsibilities in relation to fire safety.
As a private landlord you are required by law to have at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your property. You are also required to have a carbon monoxide alarm in any room which contains an appliance that burns solid fuel such as a wood burning stove or open fire. It is also necessary to make sure that the alarms are in good working order when a new tenancy starts. While these are the minimum requirements, we would recommend fitting a heat detector in the kitchen and smoke alarms in living rooms and hallways too.
When it comes to buildings containing a number of flats there are other things to consider.
Fire doors perform the important role of preventing the spread of smoke and heat in the case of fire. This allows tenants to evacuate if necessary, by preventing high temperatures and smoke in escape routes.
Poorly adjusted fire doors, or those fitted with the wrong type of closer can close too quickly and become noisy. This is to be avoided as it may result in tenants propping doors open to prevent the noise bothering them. If a door is propped open it cannot perform its vital function and the closing mechanism may become damaged meaning that the door may not close properly when needed. It is therefore important that fire doors are checked regularly to make sure that they are in good working order.
Consideration also needs to be given to any communal areas and how these are used. It is quite common for these shared areas to be used by tenants as storage spaces and this can lead to problems. In the event of a fire the items stored can make it difficult for tenants to pass them to escape, as well and making it harder for the fire service to gain access to the building if needed. There is also the risk that stored items could be set alight deliberately or by accident. It is therefore vital that stairwells, stairs and corridors are kept clear at all times.
It is also important to remember that if any changes are planned to an occupied building your fire risk assessment will need to be reviewed.
There is no doubt that there is a lot to consider. If you would like any help or advice regarding your fire safety responsibilities as a landlord, please get in touch. We are experts in fire safety and will be happy to help.