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Landlord's responsibilities

If you have some control over a premises e.g. employer, owner, managing agent, landlord or occupier, you may be designated as a 'responsible person' under the Fire Safety Order.

What do landlords need to know about fire safety? 

If you are a landlord you and your letting or managing agents may have a legal duty to keep the people who rent your property safe from fire through the provisions of the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005.

Fire Risk Assessment

What is a Fire Risk Assessment?

A careful look at your premises and the people who use them, from a fire prevention perspective. It’s about understanding the potential risks, then improving your fire safety precautions to keep people safe.

Why do it?

If you are an employer, owner or occupier of premises that aren't a 'single private dwelling' (a private home), you need to complete a Fire Risk Assessment. This is a legal requirement – your duty to identify fire risks and and hazards in your premises.

If five or more people work at your premises, you’ll need a written record of your assessment, too. It’s good business sense as well as a legal requirement, often businesses don’t recover after a fire, and effective fire prevention starts with properly understanding the risks. 

You can do the fire risk assessment yourself with the help of standard fire safety risk assessment guides.
If you do not have the expertise or time to do the fire risk assessment yourself you need to appoint a ‘competent person’ to help, for example, a professional risk assessor.

Did you know? 

If there's a fire and you haven't met your legal duties to keep people safe, you could be fined and may even spend time in prison. Learn about your legal obligations here.

How to do a Fire Risk Assessment

Broadly speaking, assessments are conducted in five key steps:

  • Identify the fire hazards.
  • Identify people at risk.
  • Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.
  • Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training.
  • Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly.

Who checks it? 

We do. Inspecting premises is part of our duty to keep people safe from fire. If your premises aren't safe, or you haven't done an assessment, you may be fined. If we believe people are at risk, we may even have to close your business until you can make it safe for employees and members of the public.  

Alarms and safe structure

You must also maintain fire detection and the structural protection provided within the building (for example fire resisting and self closing doors) to protect residents and allow them to safely escape from fire or smoke using the corridors and staircases. 

The Emergency Plan

You should develop an emergency evacuation plan for residents and make sure they know the actions they need to take in the event of an alarm or fire occurring.

What is an emergency plan? 

Though prevention is always best, you are also required by law to make a detailed fire emergency plan so  people can keep themselves and members of the public out of danger. 

What should be covered in your emergency plan?

A simple emergency plan must show that you have:

  • A suitable fire detection system.
  • A process for identifying false alarms.
  • A clear understanding of who calls 999.
  • A clear passageway to all escape routes.
  • Suitable routes and exits for people to escape.
  • Clearly marked escape routes; these should be as short and direct as possible.
  • Emergency doors that open easily; emergency lighting if it is needed.
  • Providing training so your employees know how to use the escape routes.
  • Set out a safe meeting point for staff.
  • Considered the needs of anyone who might not be able to escape quickly if there's a fire, for example, wheelchair users or people with visual impairments.

Find guidance about how consider the needs of people with disabilities on the page 'Fire Safety Risk Assessment: Means of Escape for Disabled People.'

You can find a good overview of your wider responsibilities on the website.