27 December 2014

Reduce the risk of fire in your rented property

smoke detectorFire damage is a very real risk for landlords across the nation. In fact according to the Association of British Insurance fire is one of the largest insurance sectors, with the average pay out claim per household ringing in at a huge £10,200! It’s no figure to sneeze at and highlights the absolute importance of having an adequate landlords insurance policy in place should anything go up in flames. Of course, taking necessary precautions is also an extremely effective way to protect your rented property from the risk of fire damage. To help you up the safety credentials of your property we’ve put together some useful tips on how to minimise the risk of fire when leasing to tenants.

Smoke detectors

Since new building regulations were introduced in 1992 every new property is required to have at least one smoke detector wired into the mains electrical circuit. Tenants living in homes without smoke alarms are four times more likely to die in a fire which means that having working alarms throughout the house could mean the difference between life and death.

Fire retardant furnishings

When leasing property landlords must ensure that their furniture and furnishings comply with official Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations. This applies to everything from mattresses and pillows to sofas and upholstery.

Fire extinguishers/blankets

Fire can escalate at a scarily rapid rate which means that putting out flames as soon as possible is of the upmost importance. Having a fire extinguisher or blanket on hand in the kitchen will give your tenants the opportunity to suffocate any blazes before they turn into a full scale inferno. This is optional however if your property is a large HMO you’re legally required to provide tenants with at least one fire extinguisher.

Electrical safety check

As a landlord it’s your responsibility to ensure that all household electrics are safe to use. If your property is an HMO you’re legally obliged to carry out a periodic inspection at least once every five years. Using a qualified electrician is strongly advised and will give you the complete peace of mind that your property and your tenants are safe from any electrical related risks.

Gas safety check

Under UK law landlords have three major gas related responsibilities to their tenants. Every 12 months a gas safety check must be carried out by a qualified engineer. A record of this must be issued to the tenants within 28 days of completion and maintenance must also be carried out immediately should anything need attention.

By following these five simple tips you can significantly minimise the risk of your leased property falling victim to fire damage.