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  • Writer's pictureNicola Gwyther

Briefing: Fire Safety Legal Requirements and Guidance

Owners have a legal requirement to carry out a fire risk assessment for any property rented out as a holiday let. This is needed for making sure the property is safe for guests and it is intended to ensure possible risks have been checked and the correct safety features have been put in place

Please could you read the following guidance which includes a simple template for you to complete to identify any actions you may need to take for your property. It is relatively straightforward and easy to prepare and in most cases we expect that your property will already be compliant. Please be aware that the template is designed to cover properties of varying size and complexity and not all points may be relevant to your house or flat. The template is for your personal records only to evidence the fact that you have assessed the property. Alternatively, if you do not feel comfortable carrying out the assessment yourself, we can refer you to third parties so that they can carry out the assessment for you.

We already instruct our cleaners to carry out a visual check of the property for any fire risks at each changeover and we manually test any fire alarms whenever we inspect it to ensure they are working properly. Fire Risk Assessments for Holiday Lets: A Guide What is a Fire Risk Assessment? A fire risk assessment is a document which:

  • Highlights potential fire hazards in a particular holiday home

  • Aims to reduce the risk of a fire

  • Ensures that in the event of a fire, guests can escape unharmed

You can find a blank fire assessment template here for you to carry out the assessment yourself and it is relatively straightforward. Alternatively, if you do not feel comfortable carrying out the assessment yourself, we can refer you to third parties so that they can carry out such assessments for you, The risk assessment will assess the holiday let fire safety measures, and will include matters such as:

  • Carbon monoxide detectors where necessary

  • Fire detection such as smoke detectors or heat detectors in all bedrooms and common areas

  • Emergency lighting such as torches (to illuminate escape route in the event of a power cut) where outside street lighting is not sufficient to enable safe escape.

  • Fire extinguisher and fire blanket

  • Annual gas safety inspection and certification

  • Fire action plans

Any actions identified within the fire risk assessment action plan as needing to be completed must be done so within the deadlines you specify in your action plan in order to holiday let safely and compliantly. The guidance recommends that holiday let fire regulations be reviewed annually, this includes the fire risk assessment. Fire Safety Legal Requirements and Guidance Fire Regulations for Holiday Lets in England:

  • Guidance recommends 5 yearly electrical wiring testing

  • Guidance recommends annual Portable Appliance Tests

  • Smoke detection should be provided in the shared areas and in each bedroom with a heat detector in the kitchen. It is recommended that smoke detectors are either mains-wired with battery backup or are 10-year self-contained battery operated and wirelessly linked together.

  • Annual gas safety inspections and a gas safety certificate are a legal requirement where gas is used at the property.

  • Guidance recommends one fire extinguisher and it is now a requirement to have a fire blanket in the kitchen

A more detailed guide to ensure you are compliant with the regulations can be found here Cambridge Homehost can’t advise you on, and isn’t responsible for, fire safety at your property, but we hope that by pointing you in the direction of law and certain relevant Governments’ guidance, and developing a Fire Risk Assessment template for you to use, it’s starting you off on the right foot, and you can read into this matter further and seek your own advice as and when you feel it’s needed.

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