As a landlord, you have certain legal obligations when it comes to fire safety in your properties – which differ depending upon the type of property. You must carry out a fire risk assessment in all areas of the property to identify any fire hazards or risks – and anything that can be done to remove or reduce them. Fire risk assessments are usually completed by fire safety professionals.
Fire risk assessments – what you need to do
Your responsibilities as part of the fire risk assessment include:
- ensuring there is an adequate fire escape
- providing signs telling tenants what to do if there is a fire. These signs should use language they can understand
- letting people know where the fire assembly point is
- drawing up an evacuation strategy which sets out the steps which need to be taken if there is a fire. The strategy should cover the evacuation of tenants with particular needs; for example, disabled tenants may have more difficulty getting out of the building
The fire risk assessment needs to be reviewed if anything changes which might affect fire safety in the building, for example if the building has been altered, or a tenant with particular needs – such as limited mobility or cognitive difficulties – moves in. Things you can do to help your tenants include:
- Fitting Airis
- fitting smoke and heat detectors
- making sure corridors are kept clear
- if tenants are hard of hearing, you should consider an alarm for them that does not rely on being heard, such as a visual or vibrating alarm
Older people living in sheltered accommodation, and people with impaired vision, mobility or hearing, are entitled to a home fire safety visit from the fire and rescue service. Firefighters will assess their home, offer advice on how to make it safer, and fit a free smoke alarm if needed.