The Home Office’s fire safety reform initiative will see the introduction of new fire safety regulations from 1st October 2023 that apply to all structures under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This is the third phase of the programme and is a significant step forward in ensuring fire safety in all FSO regulated properties.
With the government’s upcoming new regulations for fire safety in holiday homes and serviced accommodation in England, we’ve put together some key information to help make the transition easy.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your property is safe for guests, and compliant with these new regulations. There are some important new legal elements to the guidance, which have previously been advisory. We want to ensure we are supporting you with these new legal elements, and illustrating ourselves as responsible and professional traders within the market, so we have outlined the main aspects of the new regulations below for you:
Fire Risk Assessment. One of the key requirements is conducting a Fire Risk Assessment to identify potential hazards and develop a plan to mitigate any risks. The assessment should be carried out by a competent person who can evaluate the property’s layout, occupancy, and use.
Escape plans are also crucial in case of a fire. Property owners must ensure that occupants have clear evacuation routes and emergency exits that are free from obstruction. These routes should lead to safe assembly points outside the building where occupants can wait for assistance.
Smoke alarms are vital in any property as they provide early warning of a fire outbreak. Property owners must install smoke alarms on every floor of their buildings and ensure they are in working order. They should also consider installing carbon monoxide detectors for appliances such as gas stoves or heaters.
Electrical installations condition reports (EICR) are another requirement under the new regulations. The report identifies electrical faults, potential shock risks, and inadequate earthing or bonding within the building’s electrical system.
Furniture and furnishings must meet specific standards to minimize the risk of fire outbreaks. Property owners must ensure their furniture meets safety regulations, including having labels indicating compliance with British Standards.
Chimneys pose significant risks if not adequately maintained or used correctly. Property owners must ensure that chimneys undergo regular cleaning by qualified professionals to prevent soot buildup and other hazards such as bird nests.
Candles may seem harmless but can cause disastrous fires if left unattended or placed near flammable materials. Property owners should advise occupants against using candles or prohibit their use entirely to minimize the risk of fires breaking out.
At Pass the Keys Chilterns we are more than happy to support our clients and hosts with the following:
- Organising inspections and testing through an approved qualified contractor
- Support with fire risk assessments
- Carrying out a health and safety check of the property
- Organise any remedial or maintenance work to be carried out
It's not worth risking the safety of your guests and the legal consequences of non-compliance. Stay informed and take action to implement these new regulations.
Get in touch if you would like help managing your short-let or serviced accommodation in the Chilterns.