Did you know... ? Three people died in separate fires in the last eight days in Northern Ireland. As a private landlord, you have a real responsibility to ensure your rented home is safe for your tenants to live in, and a part of this is ensuring fire safety. We've put together the following tips for you to have a look at with regard to fire safety in private rented homes.
Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms
All landlords are required by law to install one smoke alarm on every floor of their property and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a wood-burning stove or coal fire. Check that all alarms are functioning properly at the start of new tenancies. If you fail to comply with these regulations, local authorities might impose a fine of up to £5,000.
If you have battery-powered alarms in your building, it’s important for tenants to know how often they should be replaced. You can suggest that they perform a test weekly and that you inspect the devices on automatic basis like as part of your periodic inspections.
Electrical Safety Checks
To reduce the risk of electrical fires we suggest you get a qualified electrician to conduct an Electrical Safety Check every five years. Although this is not mandatory at the moment, it is law in England and has been tabled to be included in the next update to the Northern Ireland Private Tenancies Regulations.
Protect Tenants with fire-resistant furnishings.
When renting furnished accommodation, it is important to ensure the upholstered furnishings are fire-safe. There will be a label attached that details what the fabric is made of. This label must not be removed.
Keep your tenants safe and provide them with emergency fire extinguishers
A fire extinguisher could mean the difference between a small fire and a disaster. If you rent out HMOs, they need to have these on every floor of your building, as they’re required by law.
Point Out The Fire Exits To Your Tenants.
It’s crucial for anyone living in a home that’s on fire to get outside quickly and safely. Ensure your tenants are fully aware of what exits they need to use and which ones allow quick and easy escape. Also encourage them to keep the exits clear at all times.
Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in the above article are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The author disclaims any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.