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Fire safety laws and your property

In England and Wales as the owner of a short let property you are considered the ‘responsible person’ when it comes to fire safety for your property. This means that you are responsible for completing a fire safety risk assessment, improving your fire safety measures if necessary and keeping the risks under review.

The fire safety risk assessment

The fire safety risk assessment is a detailed document that looks at the people that are likely to stay in your property and considers the risk of fire breaking out and any measures that can be put in place to stop it. You can either do this yourself or get a professional risk assessor to do it for you. If you decide to do it yourself there are plenty of guides available to help you, listed at the bottom of this blog post.

Carrying out the risk assessment is split into five sections:

1. Identify the fire hazards.

2. Identify people at risk.

3. Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.

4. Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training.

5. Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly.

What to do once you have completed your risk assessment 

Keep a written record. This is only the law if you have five or more employees but if you are investigated by the Fire Service and you do not have proof of completing a risk assessment they could take legal action against you.

Make sure that a guide to the escape routes for your property is available for your guests as well as other important information, e.g. how to use fire extinguishers.

If the assessment raises a need for preventative measures, you are responsible for getting these installed.

Keep your assessment up to date with any changes that you might make to your property.

There is more information about fire safety laws on the Gov.UK website and there is a good fire risk assessment template on the Visit England website. These two government guides also provide extra reading:

Do you have paying guests’ 

Fire Safety Assessments: Sleeping Accommodation 

If you have further questions then you should get in touch with your local fire service.