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A fire risk assessment is a detailed record of the property and its fire hazards, identifying any potential risks and removing, reducing or mitigating these.

For example, all furniture and furnishings supplied must be fire safe and bear manufacturers’ labels confirming the relevant requirements have been met.

The risk assessment must be carried out by a competent person; this can be the landlords themselves or alternatively by a third-party fire safety specialist.

In all rented properties, tenants must have clear access to escape routes at all times. HMOs require an escape route lit with emergency lighting that can resist fire, smoke and fumes long enough for everyone to leave. This could mean an external fire escape or specially treated fire-resistant internal stairs and corridors.

Fire extinguishers aren’t obligatory (unless the property is an HMO, in which case at least one fire extinguisher must be provided on every floor), but they are a good idea and show that a landlord takes tenant safety seriously. If you do provide extinguishers, they must be serviced regularly. In an ideal world, this would at least once a year. HMOs also require at least one fire blanket in each shared kitchen.

Although fire doors are only legally required in HMOs, it is a good idea to fit them in other types of rental property. They help to delay the spread of fire and smoke, providing your tenants with added security and valuable extra time to escape in the event of a fire. Although watch out for tenants disabling the fire door self-closing devices.

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