WHO NEEDS A FIRE SAFETY RISK ASSESSMENT?
A fire risk assessment is designed to minimise the probability of a fire occurring by identifying the potential hazards and fire risks within a building. Not only does this protect your tenants, it also protects you as a landlord from any liability provided you comply with any action points. It is therefore good practice to risk assess all let properties.
Fire Risk Assessments are a legal requirement to have in Houses of Multiple Occupation. This can include shared houses of 3 or more tenants as well as traditional bedsit HMOs. This came about because studies have shown that you are 6 times more likely to die in a fire in an HMO than you would in a family home, rising to to 16 times more likely if the property is of 3 storeys or more.
The freeholders of residential buildings are also responsible for ensuring that Fire Risk Assessments are carried out and reviewed annually on the ‘common parts’ of their properties. This includes entrance halls, stairways and all escape routes.
WHO CAN DO A FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT?
All HMO’s require a Fire Safety Risk Assessment under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. They are also required for the common parts of buildings divided into flats.
If an accident occurs and the assessment is thought to be insufficient, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.
To absolutely prove competence, Fire Risk Assessors should have regular training and assessment from bodies like the FPA or the Institute of Fire Safety Managers..