- You are required to complete a fire risk assessment by law.
- It replaces the old fire certificate and all self-catering properties must complete one.
- You need to complete one for your Visit England rating.
- In most premises this can be completed by the owner.
- Where your property is within a development your assessment must include all communal areas (stairs, corridors etc) and facilities that a guest would have access to. This information should already be available through your property management company.
- As a result of your Risk Assessment you must ensure that all preventative and protective measures required are actioned.
- Ensure that a copy of your Fire Emergency Plan is easily accessible for all guests eg. in your welcome pack.
- Responsibility for all remedial work and ongoing servicing and maintenance lies with the owner of the property.
- Magistrates are able to impose a fine of up to £5,000 for each offence. A Crown Court can impose an unlimited fine and up to 2 years imprisonment.
- Fire officers will carry out Fire Safety Audits but they are risk based and premises like hotels that are seen as a greater risk are likely to be visited more often.
- You need to ensure that your assessment is kept within the property. If your property is audited the assessor will need to see a copy. Visit Britain also make checking for a completed assessment part of their rating visit checklist.
- The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 gives guidance to those carrying out fire risk assessments for 'Sleeping Accommodation' through its guidance book, produced by the Communities Department for £12. It can be downloaded for free but is 140 pages long. Order with ISBN 9781851128174 by post to Fire Safety Guides, P.O. Box 236, Wetherby LS23 7NB. The Order also requires reference to the Building Regulations Approved Document B Volumes 1 and 2 to ensure properties meet Building Regulations.
- If you have an inspection it is important that you complete any changes they ask for in a timely manner.
More information on fire safety law and guidance documents, including a short form document for an assessment and an example report. An explanatory pamphlet is available here. Mark Evans of Firemaster has written a useful article on fire risk assessment for holiday lettings (Pdf).
As part of our company policy we are required to have sight of your Fire Risk Assessment. If you do not have one, we can arrange for an experienced fire risk assessor to carry this out on your behalf.