Fire Safety in HMO Properties

If your property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) which is subject to licensing, you must also comply with licence conditions in relation to fire safety. The mandatory conditions include a requirement that the landlord installs smoke alarms, keeps them in proper working order, and gives a declaration to the local authority, on request, of their safe condition.

Our fire safety officer can assess your property and provide details of the correct alarm system for the HMO property.  Systems include emergency lighting, smoke detectors and heat sensors.  Our fire safety officer is also qualified to test systems and provide certificates every 12 months to comply with licensing requirementsThe safety officer can also provide adequate fire-fighting equipment. 

Property managers are fully competent to test alarm panels each week, carry out weekly visits checking all communal areas, the Fire panels, fire equipment and sensors.  Inspections of all communal hallway and stairways to ensure no items are blocking escape routes.  They also undertake regular briefings to educate tenants on aspects of Fire Safety. I.e. How to prevent fires, what to do in the event of fire.

Additional items to consider

  • Always make sure that all the gas appliances provided are maintained in good order and that a ‘Gas Safe’ registered engineer carries out a safety check each year.
  • Maintain all electrical installations (ie fixed wiring) and any portable electrical appliances provides (i.e. microwave cookers, kettles, toasters), and make sure they are safe to use.
  • Make sure any furniture and furnishings they provide meet the fire resistance regulations.

All furniture and furnishings in the HMO property must meet the Fire standards for Furnishings. It’s the property managers responsibility to ensure tenants do not bring non-compliant furniture into the property.  Our Fire Safety Officer also arranges PAT (Portable Appliance Tests) on appliances to ensure they are safe.

Fire safety should be considered for all types of properties not just HMO properties.  Even if you plan to let a property as a HMO which does not require a licence, I always recommend factoring in a good fire alarm system, emergency lights and fire-doors and provide Fire blankets in the kitchens as minimum.

The HMO property may not require a licence at this point in time, however standards are steadily improving and this may mean that the HMO could be included within the licencing requirements in the future. When refurbishing properties now, think ahead and plan for the future.

Future proofing properties is the key to success

If you would like your HMO property to be assessed or have a property you are considering turning to an HMO please do not hesitate to contact me