Fire Safety Legislation

fire_safety_359651064Landlords must ensure that fire safety within rented property meets the standards enforced under current regulations…
The relevant legislation includes:
• The General Product Safety Regulations 1994
• The Housing (Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation) Regulations 1990
• Fire Precautions Act 1971 (S.10)
• Housing Acts 1980 and 1985
• The Consumer Protection Act 1987
Some of these Acts and Regulations apply only to HiMO landlords and/or commercial landlords who let property as part of a business. Current legislation does, however, provide various powers to local authorities, trading standards officers, environmental health officers, the fire service, and/or other agencies, to inspect properties reported or suspected to be unsafe. All landlords should examine their property and the appliances and furnishings therein to ensure they meet the required standards. In particular:
• Communal hallways and staircases should be free of any obstructions which may inhibit a quick exit during a fire. Carpet laid to stair-steps must be secure with no threadbare patches that could cause someone to trip or fall.
• If extinguishers and other fire-fighting equipment are provided, they should be in good working order and meet the required British Standard. User instructions should be easy to read and the equipment should be tested according to the manufacturer’s guide or appropriate legislation, depending on the type of property being let (consult your local environmental health department).
• Properties considered to be a HiMO must conform to the fire-safety standards enforced by the local authority.
• Consider the fire escape route and assess whether it could be improved.
• If you are considering making significant changes to the dwelling, be certain to check with the local authority planning department/building control before proceeding, to ensure compliance with building and fire safety regulations.
• Building Regulations require all properties built after June 1992 to have a mains powered inter-connected smoke-alarm system installed. Landlords of older properties should consider providing at least a battery-operated smoke detector, as it will add considerably to the safety of their tenants. Alarms should be fitted in an effective location and supplied with new batteries at the start of each tenancy. Testing and maintenance should be specified within the tenancy agreement, so that all are clearly aware of who is responsible.