If you are a landlord in the private or commercial sector, you will hopefully be aware of the new laws which came into effect in October 2018 for Houses of Multiple Occupancy and family homes regarding fire safety. Since 2015 it has been mandatory for landlords to supply at least one mains wired or radio-controlled smoke detection system on each floor of the property, both in HMOs and in privately rented family accommodation. These laws have now been updated to include premises occupied by five or more people, comprising two or more households, including B&Bs.
However, while some landlords might seek to dodge the system, the courts do not take kindly to this. In November, a landlord in St Helens was fined £21,000 for fire and safety breaches; in Salford a landlord received a £55,000 fine for similar breaches; and in Newport, two landlords received fines amounting to thousands of pounds.
November saw the tragic and untimely death of GB swimmer Tazmin Pugh in a house fire in Worcester. It is a sad fact that people can and do die in fires, but there are many precautions you can take to help avoid this happening. Please don’t take any chances where the safety of your tenants is concerned. If you are a landlord, we can help you conduct a full risk assessment of your property and offer a no obligation quote for any works needed to help you meet current legislation.
Also in November, a school in Kent received its Ofsted report from a visit by the regulator in June 2018. Chartfield School in Thanet, a £1,500 a term private school, saw their Ofsted rating drop from ‘Good’ to ‘Inadequate’. Many people think Ofsted only look at the educational standards and management of the school, but fire safety also plays a role in their assessment. Chartfield were pulled up on not updating their fire safety assessment since 2014. There are statutory requirements that all schools must meet when it comes to fire safety, and risk assessments are essential. If you have any concerns about a risk assessment being due on your premises, get in touch and we can help.
And finally, to finish up our November round-up, here is an excellent article from Business Mole summing up the fire responsibilities of all business owners, including the mandatory requirement to appoint a responsible person to carry out a fire risk assessment in the respective organisation. If you need any advice, please get in touch and let our experts guide you through the legal requirements.