Fire Safety is no place for DIY guesswork…….

10 05 2012

UK Landlords are being warned not to attempt their own DIY fire risk assessments on properties that they rent out.

“Don’t even consider it – it could be fraught with danger,” says Dorian Gonsalves, Chief Executive Officer of the country’s leading residential lettings specialist Belvoir, which has an office in Tunstall.

Few Landlords understand the huge amount of legislation governing rented property these days. Fire safety issues have become so complicated and legislation covers so many different regulations for different types of property in different parts of the UK, that it’s no area for amateurs.

Seek the advice and guidance of a professional, because the stakes are too high to go it alone.

Rented property from new builds to conversions, bed-sits to ‘houses in multiple occupation’ (HMO’s) can have their own particular fire safety requirements and need individual appraisals.

Some are subject to regulations governing common areas….others require fire doors….

There are product safety requirements for electrical equipment, plugs and sockets, furniture and furnishing materials.

Gas appliances can kill through carbon monoxide poisoning…but they can cause fires too.

And electrical wiring needs checking to avoid older properties becoming fire traps.

“There are so many different regulations to prevent fire as well as deal with fire that Landlords who try to understand it all are running an unacceptable risk of still keeping an unsafe property” says Alejandra Garcia who owns the Belvoir Office at 248 HIgh Street in Tunstall.

Every Landlord has a duty of care to tenants and that is central to the whole fire safety issue. If everything is checked that needs to be checked then they’re protected. But if they don’t honour that duty of care then Landlords can expect a robust response from fire and rescue or local housing authorities who enforce regulations and prosecute offenders.

Seek expert advice, then – from local authorities, professional fire safety advisors, or responsible, experienced letting agents such as Belvoir who work closely to help Landlords to follow best practice and meet legal requirements.

Tenants have the right to live in safe properties and this means we have to carry out correct risk assessments, take proper precautions, obtain gas and electricity safety certificates and install the right safety equipment from smoke alarms to extinguishers.

“That’s why there’s no place for guesswork here. This is professional territory.”

If you would like any advice on the above article or on obtaining Gas Safety or Electrical Safety certificates then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Tel:  01782 478 444         Email:    stoke-on-trent@belvoirlettings.com

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