In 2006, the UK Fire and Rescue Service attended a total of 426,000 fires. Around three-quarters of these were external, such as vehicle, refuse, or garden fires. The remaining 89,460 fires were in business premises or within private dwellings (including blocks of flats or multi-tenanted buildings).
Sadly, these fires resulted in 491 deaths. The majority of these fire-related deaths occurred in private dwellings, the highest fatality rates being the elderly (80+), males, and those living in Scotland. There was also 13,800 non-fatal casualties resulting from fires.
Such statistics help to highlight why fire safety within the home is an important issue for landlords, and especially so in mixed use premises such as houses in multiple occupation HMOs (such as student accommodation) where unrelated occupiers, living independently from each other, will be sharing common areas of the same building, for example, such rooms as kitchens and living room’s.
Common law and statutory provisions provide landlords with an unambiguous responsibility to ensure H&S obligations are met. It is not enough legally to simply appoint a letting agent and assume all responsibility is left with the agent, due to the fact that if a situation were to arise and the landlord is unable to say whether necessary and relevant duties have been performed on his behalf, then he cannot demonstrate that he had done everything incumbent upon him to ensure the elimination or reduction of risks within the properties he owns.
An annual Fire Safety Check (Fire Risk Assessment) is a wise precaution for any landlord or letting agent even where it is not strictly required to meet the regulations, ie in single lets. Documenting this on a change of tenancy or on an annual basis will provide adequate evidence of due diligence on the landlord’s or agent’s part in the event of an incident or a tenant complaint.
Such an assessment also provides landlords with an opportunity to inspect their rented properties and helps to make the tenant more aware of their responsibilty to care for the property, i.e, it will help keep the tenant on their toes!
We currently offer such Fire Safety Checks in the area’s of Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and Mansfield. These Fire Safety Checks are not an expensive precaution – they start from as little as £90, or from £80 for members of East Midlands Property Owners (EMPO) and once any concerns are addressed the landlord will able to display a window sticker at the property showing that an annual Fire Safety Check has been carried out by Advanced Corporate Solutions.
Where an assessment identifies a need for maintenance work by a fully qualified electrician, then at the landlords consent we can make an arrangement for this to be carried out for the landlord, with the electrician directly invoicing the landlord.
For further information or to book a Fire Safety Check please click Contact Us on the left or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fire safety requirements for landlords come under both the Housing Act 2004 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO).