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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yesterday, cafe owner, Jahed Ali, 39, was jailed for 8 months after breaching a string of fire safety regulations at his Liverpool eatery.
It was judged that the cafe’s living quarters, which was home to a number of Ali’s staff, was only accessible by crawling through a make-shift tunnel behind a kick loose panel. Ultimately, the workers would’ve had very little chance of making it out alive if a fire had broken out in the kitchen below.
It was also confirmed that Ali had previously been given an enforcement notice when inspectors carried out a routine fire risk assessment back in 2012. However, having returned to the property in February last year, the inspectors noticed that the living quarters were still being used by his staff, despite Ali’s innocence.
In total, Jahed Ali admitted 10 breaches of fire safety regulations including failure to remove combustible material, failure to provide emergency exits, failure to provide sufficient fire alarm systems and failure to provide removable locks on emergency doors.
What they say
"Due to internal resource issues we at Chessington World Of Adventures were struggling to meet our commitments of having "suitable and sufficient" fire risk assessment for all of our buildings and Rides on site. Meeting the challenge of maintaining our continued commitment to having "suitable and sufficient" fire risk assessments in place for all of our buildings and Rides on site required us to search for a competent third party supplier who could deliver our needs at a reasonable cost"
Kevin Bainbridge, Head of Safety & Technical Services[mc4wp_form]