Table of contents
Should you be a Landlord or a “responsible person” of a house of multiple occupancy (HMO). There are a number of fire safety provisions that you must carry out.
Carry out a fire risk assessment
You need to carry out a fire risk assessment as stated under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This a physical inspection of the building in which you must assess the fire risks. Once found you must either remove, manage or reduce the risks found. An action plan should then be drawn up to ensure you have the correct fire safety measures in place. Failure to do this can result in dire consequences in which you could be either prosecuted or even worse, jailed. There have been many examples of people being prosecuted for not having there HMO fire safety up to standard
Fit a fire alarm
From the fire risk assessment a fire alarm should be installed to alert residents with enough warning to allow safe evacuation. The type of fire alarm category depends on the type of HMO and what type is required from your fire risk assessment. The system should then be tested weekly by a fire marshal and serviced every 6 months by a competent engineer and maintained correctly under BS5839. This will help keep your HMO fire safety in good order.
What about emergency lighting?
Emergency lighting should be installed under BS5266 to allow safe evacuation should a fire occur. The system should have battery back-up to allow enough time for safe evacuation and for the use of the fire service. This should then be serviced every 6 months by a competent engineer and tested on a monthly basis by a fire marshal. This will also help you with your HMO fire safety
Put some fire safety signs up
Once you have emergency lighting in place, correct fire escape signs should be installed to show the escape route as people are confused when there is heat and smoke from a fire – people tend to panic. Fire escape signs must show how to use door mechanisms easily which will allow for quick evacuation. All fire doors must have ‘fire door keep shut’ signs with door closers and ‘fire door keep shut’ on electrical cupboards/rooms etc.
Maybe some fire extinguishers too
Fire extinguishers should be in place to tackle small fires. There should be appropriate fire training for residents to use these should a fire occur, however you can use the all purpose fire extinguisher such as Water Mist as this tackles most fires. This will help with keeping your HMO fire safety up to a good standard.
All the management processes, servicing, and visits from the local fire service should be recorded in a fire log book.