In recent news, the UK government has plans for new regulations for fire safety in holiday homes in England. Fire safety guidelines are in place to help keep properties and guests safe while holiday letting, which is why it’s so important to know and understand any changes.
Full-length, written assessments, covering all aspects of fire risk, will become a legal requirement for all properties from the 1st of October 2023.
We’ve put together some key information to help make the transition easy. Additionally, the government has issued new guidance that applies to properties of ‘small paying guest accommodation’.
To help you understand these new regulations, we have pulled the main points from the new guidance below:
1. It is a legal requirement to have a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) carried out and recorded for your property. A copy of the Fire Risk Assessment should also be displayed in your property, ideally in your Welcome Folder. We strongly recommend that this is carried out by a professional FRA company who will be fully up to date with legislation and can demonstrate they have the competency required to consider all risks. For larger and more complex properties, it is extremely unlikely that the average property owner will have suitable and sufficient experience to be able to thoroughly evaluate the level of risk.
2. Emergency escape lighting is required in bedrooms and along the escape route – This can be provided by plug-in torches, although larger properties may need full escape lighting.
3. Protected escape routes must have doors with a 30-minute fire protection capability, or an adaptation that offers this level of protection.
4. Inter linked smoke detectors are now required in all rooms and protected escape routes ie hallways, corridors, staircases, sitting rooms and dining rooms leading to the main fire exit. Larger properties or those with complex layouts may need more sophisticated detection systems.
5. All hot water and heating systems must be inspected annually, including systems powered by renewable energy e.g air/ground source heat pumps.
6. Thumb turn locks are now strongly recommended on all exit doors – There would be very few instances where it would be deemed unnecessary to fit these, and they can usually be retrofitted to most doors.
7. The EICR (fixed wiring check) is required every 5 years.
8. Chimneys should be swept annually.
9. Weekly checks on all fire safety equipment must be carried out and recorded.
10. Candles should be prohibited, and a clear policy is required for your guests.
For larger and/or more complex properties, the document Fire Safety Risk Assessment: Sleeping Accommodation still applies and it is likely to be reviewed in 2024.
We strongly advise your Fire Risk Assessment is carried out by a professional, rather than conducting a Fire Risk Assessment yourself as the new changes from the 1st of October are more complex and difficult to follow!
When it comes to finding a professional to conduct the Fire Risk Assessment at your property, we’d recommend doing a Google search and looking for a ‘fire safety risk assessor.’
It is always worth checking that they’re an accredited assessor too, you can use the following sites to find accredited assessors: