The Landlord Zone provides landlords – novice and experienced alike, information, tips and news surrounding everything you need to know when it comes to letting property.
Total Fire Services Managing Director Darren Baird has been appointed Fire Safety topic expert on the LL Zone forum and regularly shares his knowledge and advice on current issues and scenarios in the landlord world.
Darren has recently answered the 3 big questions for residential landlords when it comes to fire risk assessments for their properties.
‘Do I need a fire risk assessment?
For most landlords out there, fire risk assessments are crucial. They make sure properties remain compliant with fire safety regulations and provide peace of mind for both you and your tenants.
“The best place to start is to define who does and doesn’t need a Fire Risk Assessment. If you are the Landlord of any type of property, you must have an up to date fire safety assessment unless you fill ALL of the following criteria:
- The property is a private residence, what the Fire Safety Order terms as a “domestic premises”
- The property is being let as a single domestic premises
- The property is not subdivided in any way i.e. a mix of residential and commercial
- The property is not sublet in any way
- There are no shared or common areas”
‘How regularly do I need to update my Fire Risk Assessment?’
Fire risk assessments must be kept up to date, but it can be tricky for landlords to know exactly what this term is referring to.
“There is no legal right answer to this, since the Fire Safety Order 2005 simply states that it must be reviewed when it is no longer valid, when significant changes have taken place and is to be kept up to date.”
Use every 12 months as a guide, but if in doubt at all, get in touch with your local fire safety specialists who will advise you whether or not you might need your risk assessment updating.
‘Oh, but I did my own Fire Risk Assessment using this template I downloaded online’…
Fire risk assessments must be conducted by someone who is qualified and competent to do so.
“In this I must be blunt: the average person is not competent enough in fire safety to undertake an FRA anywhere near adequate for what is required. Indeed the assessors I use are not only highly experienced ex-firefighters, they have also undertaken further training and attained industry accreditations in their own right.”
This is another grey area in the fire safety world, but to get absolute peace of mind that your fire risk assessment has been carried thoroughly and properly it is a good idea to call in professional fire safety consultants.
Total Fire Services has been externally certified by the NSI for the BAFE SP205 Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment Scheme so you can be sure that you are the best hands when it comes to fire risk assessments. BAFE accredited companies provide a high level standard to customers throughout the UK, and we are proud to have achieved this accolade.
So there it is, 3 big questions that are frequently asked, answered for landlords. Save your premises, and most importantly your tenants from the deadly consequences of fires.
To read Darren’s full landlord Zone article click here.