I’m sure you’ve heard about the awful story of a Flyde home recently being devastated by fire? Well this tragic story has compelled me to write a blog on fire safety in private rented accommodation this week, as we can’t stress enough the importance of fire safety but sadly many still don’t completely understand their responsibilities.
Did you know that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are to be made a mandatory requirement in both social and privately rented homes in England and Wales, from October 2015?
This follows years of campaigning by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) and the British Property Federation, who hope that this will provide clarity to all landlords. Although thankfully a minority, the English Housing Survey 2013 estimated that 82% of privately rented homes had functioning smoke alarms fitted by diligent landlords and letting agents.
Scotland lead by example, as it’s already a legal requirement there to provide linked ‘hard-wired’ smoke alarms on stair landings and living rooms, along with heat detectors in kitchen areas and carbon monoxide alarms wherever a gas appliance can be found.
Director of policy at the BPF said: “It is quick, cheap and easy to install these pieces of equipment, so making them mandatory makes sense.”
According to the latest fire statistics for 2013/2014, fire and rescue services in Britain attended 212,500 fires within this period, which is a 10% increase on 2012-13. Dwellings with no smoke alarm accounted for 38% of deaths in home fires, with nearly one fifth of deaths occurring where no smoke alarm worked.
A survey by the BWF-Certificate Fire Door and Dorset Scheme and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) also found that:
- 37% of those responsible for fire safety were not clear on their legal obligations,
- 35% questioned said they would not be able to tell the difference between a fire door and an ordinary door,
- 45% of business owners admitted they would not be able to tell is a fire door was ‘dodgy’.
Fire door safety is also an extremely important issue for landlords in East Lancashire to take note of, especially those with HMO’s (House of Multiple Occupancy).
This legislation has been further prompted by the tragic incident of Sophie Rosser; a 23 year old architect, who sadly lost her life when she went back into her apartment block to save her trapped fiancé after a fire broke out in her London flat. It was later revealed that the buildings fire alarm had not been working for two years and that there had also been problems with the self-closing fire doors.
Ainsworth Lord Estates will be proudly supporting the following national fire awareness events – Will you?
Fire Door Safety Week, taking place 14th-20th September 2015.
Fire Prevention Week, taking place 5th-11th October 2015 –which is perfectly timed for this much needed legislation to take effect!
We take great pride in the properties that we manage for our private landlords in Darwen and Blackburn, focusing extra care and attention on fire safety issues. Need help with managing your buy-to-let? Don’t hesitate to get in touch today on 01254 760660 or email: Darwen@AinsworthLordEstates.com .