A-Z of property management
F is for Fire Safety
What was the Fire Certificate is no longer required as it was previously under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 for hotels, boarding houses, factories, offices, shops and railway premises.
All these premises must comply with Fire Regulations, now covered by the The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 England and Wales – see here
This Order replaces previous fire safety legislation and any fire certificate issued under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 will cease to have any effect. If a fire certificate was issued in respect of your premises or the premises were built to recent building regulations, as long as you have made no material alterations and all the physical fire precautions have been properly maintained, then it is unlikely you will need to make any significant improvements to your existing physical fire protection arrangements to comply with the Order.
However, you must carry out fire risk assessments and keep it up to date to ensure that all the fire precautions in your premises remain current and adequate. If you have previously carried out a fire risk assessment under the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997/1999 and this assessment has been regularly reviewed then all you will need to do now is update that assessment, taking into account the wider scope of the new Order.
Whether you are renting to a family or renting to sharers you have an obligation to ensure the property is safe from fire. However, knowing what is required to make a property safe is quite a complex area of the law.
There are several important pieces of legislation which can affect your responsibilities and practices in regards to fire safety for your properties. Not all of it applies to every property which can make it difficult to understand exactly what you need to do to ensure you are being responsible about fire safety.
The purpose of this guide is to help you understand what the legislative framework is for fire safety, what you might be required to do to comply with it, and how that translates to ensuring each of your properties is safe for your tenants. It is designed for landlords and agents who own or manage one property rather than a block of flats for example.