In 2011, two tenants were killed when a fire tore through the property they rented in Walthomstow, London. The fire could have easily been avoided had their landlord, Muhammad Ashraf, installed fire detectors, smoke alarms, and fire-fighting equipment, all of which could can been highlighted in a Fire Risk Assessment. Ashraf was ordered to pay more than £22,000 in costs and given a six-month suspended sentence for the deaths of his tenants.
This is just one of many tragic cases where a landlord’s inability to implement basis fire safety precautions has led to the deaths of their tenants.
Every landlord has a responsibility to ensure their rental property is safe and tenants are protected from potential hazards and dangers. By failing to implement fire safety precautions you could be criminally prosecuted under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) order 2005.
If you want to protect your tenants and property from fire but you’re unsure where to start, here’s our fire safety guide for landlords.
Carry Out A Fire Risk Assessment For Every Rental Property You Own
It’s vital that you regularly carry out a fire risk assessment. By identifying any potential hazards, you can implement necessary precautions and minimise the risk of fire.
Although you may be able to conduct this fire risk assessment yourself, it’s often wise to recruit a fire safety professional to help. They’ll know exactly what to look for and they’ll be able to spot potential hazards you may overlook.
Fit Smoke Detectors To Every Storey
All landlords are required by law to install smoke detectors to every storey of each property they let out. You’ll also need to have carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with fireplaces or wood burners.
Ensure Tenants Have Adequate Means Of Escape In the Event Of A Fire
It’s vital that all tenants within the property are able to escape in the event of a fire. If your tenant becomes trapped, the consequences could be fatal. Many landlords have been prosecuted for failing to provide tenants with a suitable means of escape in a fire.
Make sure furniture and furnishings are fire safe
If you provide furnished or partly-furnished properties, you’re legally required to ensure all furniture and furnishings you provide are fire safe. White goods must also be checked, if they’re supplied by you.
Introduce Fire Doors Throughout The Property
Some landlords are required by law to install fire doors throughout their rental properties, while for other landlords it’s simply a wise precaution. You can find out which rules apply to your property through gov.uk.
A fire door can help to compartmentalise a fire and prevent it from travelling from room to room. Not only can this protect your property and its contents from damage, it can also save lives. So even if you aren’t legally required to install fire doors to your rental property, it may be wise to introduce them anyway.
By ensuring that you fulfil legal requirements and exceed expectations, not only can you protect your property from damage and avoid fines and prosecution, you can save lives too. Fire safety in rental properties is not something to be taken lightly, so if you need any advice or to book a Fire Risk Assessment in Manchester or any surrounding area in the North of England please get in touch with the team at Total Fire Services.