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Fire Safety In Properties – Landlords Beware!


Proper fire safety measures must be taken when letting or going to let a flat or house.  A few simple steps can be taken to help avoid fires.  The proper installation of a smoke alarm and carbon dioxide detector should be installed on all floors of a flat to ensure there is a proper awareness should a fire break out.  These detectors can be purchased and installed by the landlord or tenant at minimal cost. Regular checking of batteries for the detectors need to be done to ensure they are in good working order. The Building Regulations (1991) state that all properties built since June 1992 must be fitted with mains operated interlinked smoke detectors/alarms with at least one detector per floor level.

It is also the case that all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are required to supply mains operated interlinked smoke alarm system.

Also having fire extinguishers, fire blankets and a proper fire escape are all key components when it comes to safety in properties.  Before moving into a flat or letting a flat to a tenant, these items should be regulated and checked and put on the inventory list as working before the let agreement is signed by both parties.


Landlords must maintain the electrical and gas fixtures so none of them are faulty therefore causing a possible fire.  If a tenant sees an issue with any of these items, it must be given in writing to the landlord immediately so they may rectify the situation.  Disrepair can be rectified quickly and will help overcome possible fires within a reasonable duration.


There are many other reasons fire can start within a flat or house.  Many accidents and fires occur through negligence and can be avoided with a few simple rules.  If the tenant is a smoker all cigarettes should be disposed of in the appropriate tin.  Never empty a tin into the trash without making sure the tin is cold or filled with some liquid.  Refrain from smoking in bed, as lying down to sleep makes for many fire related injuries and losses.  Never drape wet laundry items over heating elements to dry them.  Candles should be used with caution and be in view always.  Unplugging appliances when not in use is another way to prevent a possible fire from happening.


Make sure the furniture in the flat is fire resistant.  The landlord is responsible for seeing that all furniture and material is fire resistant, confirming the resistance with a symbol in each piece.  If a tenant finds furniture that is not resistant, then contact the landlord to have this procedure done or replaced with the appropriate furniture.  If a tenant does not have a landlord that is compliant with the fire regulations, contact the local council or fire service.  The council and fire service will contact the landlord and take the appropriate actions needed to make sure the rules are followed.


By landlords and tenants following the safety rules and guidelines along with common sense, almost all fires can be avoided.  When in doubt, seek legal advice and know your rights.




June 2024
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