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Fire risk assessments for small paying guest accommodation holiday let’s based in Devon and Cornwall

Welcome to a very pivotal discussion that is often overlooked yet holds immense significance in our lives - Fire Safety. Today, we delve into an area that is integral to the safety and wellbeing of numerous individuals across Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset. We're focusing on small paying guest accommodations, a setting where safety measures are of utmost importance given the transient nature of its inhabitants.

Ensuring these spaces are equipped with robust fire safety measures is more than just an obligation - it's a commitment towards safeguarding lives. From small B&Bs nestled in the heart of Devon to quaint guest houses sprinkled across the picturesque backdrop of Cornwall and Somerset, our intent is to bring about an awareness that not only educates but empowers each one of us to prioritize safety above all.

So, whether you're a property owner, a manager, or a guest, this conversation is for you. Let's stride together towards creating safer living spaces, because every life counts. Let's dive deeper into understanding the importance of fire safety in small paying guest accommodations across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.

Fire risk assessments for paying guest accommodation: Fire safety law for holiday let properties

If anyone pays to stay in your property or in a room within your property, other than as a permanent resident, the fire safety law applies.

Small paying guest accommodations, which include houses, cottages, chalets, individual flats, holiday caravans, camping and glamping pods, bothies, lodges, shepherds' huts, tents, tree houses, and yurts, that provide sleeping arrangements for a maximum of 10 people, are subject to this law.

If you choose to rent out any of the aforementioned accommodations on a short-term or holiday basis, you must comply with the Fire Safety Order.

Under this order, it is your responsibility to take necessary precautions to protect all individuals using your premises from the potential risks of fire.

holiday let fire risk assessment devon

Your responsibilities as a holiday let owner or manager.

In order to ensure the safety of individuals from fire hazards, it is imperative that you conduct a thorough and appropriate fire risk assessment. This assessment will help identify the necessary fire safety measures that should be implemented to protect people.

Regularly reviewing your risk assessment is crucial, especially when there are significant changes that could impact fire safety, such as adding a new guest bedroom or altering the property layout. We strongly advise conducting an annual review of your risk assessment.

To maintain the effectiveness of fire safety measures, it is essential to carry out regular servicing and testing of equipment. This includes fire alarm systems, gas appliances, electrical appliances, and emergency lighting systems that can be utilized in case of a power failure (as indicated in the fire risk assessment). Keeping a record of all testing and maintenance activities is highly recommended.

Compliance with fire safety laws is a legal requirement. Failure to meet these obligations may result in enforcement actions, prosecutions, fines, or even imprisonment. To learn more about our fire safety inspections for holiday properties, please refer to the relevant information.

Fire risk assessments for holiday lets

If you are operating a small paying guest accommodation, you have the option to conduct your own fire risk assessment. To assist you in this process, we have outlined five steps to guide you through the assessment and the necessary actions you need to take.

However, if you do not feel confident in conducting the assessment on your own, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a competent person. This individual should possess the appropriate level of knowledge and understanding of fire safety.

we provide a guide on how to find a suitable risk assessor if we can’t assist within your area.

1. Identify fire hazards

Make a note of:

  • things that could start a fire such as; faulty electrical equipment, cooking, portable gas heaters

  • anything that could allow fire to develop and spread like; packaging materials, rubbish, decorations and wall coverings

  • sources of oxygen, other than the air around you such as; air conditioning systems, oxygen cylinders, fireworks (which contain oxidising materials)

  • hot processes; welding or grinding for example

  • where people smoke and discard smoking materials.

2. Identify people at risk

Consider the people who may be in your building - what are they doing and where are they?

Think about all the people who work, visit or stay in your building. Pay particular attention to those especially at risk in the event of a fire on the premises.

Examples to consider

  • People sleeping - they will not detect a fire, will be slow to react to an alarm and may be disorientated.

  • Noisy environments - people may not hear the alarm due to loud music or the wearing of ear defenders.

  • Staff who work out of normal office hours, or in an isolated part of the building. This could be cleaners, maintenance staff or security staff.

  • People with disabilities such as restricted mobility, visual or hearing impairment.

  • Children and young people.

3. Identify the measures needed to keep people safe

Once you've considered the fire risks and who is at risk, you need to look at the practical things you can do to prevent a fire from happening and keep people safe if there is a fire.

4. Record, plan, inform, instruct and train

This step is about making sure that you have a record of your plan and that everyone knows their responsibilities for fire safety and what to do in the event of a fire.

5. Reviewing your risk assessment

We recommend you review your risk assessment at least annually.

You must review your risk assessment regularly and whenever there has been a significant change that could impact it. This applies to all risk assessments whether you are required to keep a record or not.

Significant changes could include:

  • a change of use

  • a change of contents such as; storage of chemicals or dangerous substances, or significant changes to stock levels

  • an alteration to the building.

If you have had a fire or near miss, then we recommend that you review and update your fire risk assessment to consider how and why a fire may have started.

Regularly reviewing your assessment will help you ensure the fire safety measures you have put in place remain suitable and identify any additional measures.

fire risk assessment image

Things to consider in your holiday let.

It is crucial to consider the specific needs of vulnerable guests, such as children, elderly individuals, or those with disabilities, when operating a small paying guest accommodation. Your booking procedure should take into account any specific needs your guests may have.

To determine if someone has a hearing impairment, you can include a question in your booking process that asks guests to indicate if they have any specific requirements or disabilities. Additionally, you can provide a contact point for guests to inform you of any special needs they may have prior to their arrival.

In the event of a fire, it is essential to ensure that all guests, including those with hearing impairments, are alerted promptly. You should have appropriate fire detection and alarm systems in place, including visual alarms or vibrating devices, to alert individuals who may not be able to hear audible alarms.

Your emergency plan, which outlines the actions to be taken in the event of a fire, must be suitable for all guests staying at your premises. It is important not to rely solely on the Fire and Rescue Service to evacuate people from your property. Your plan should include clear instructions for guests on how to safely evacuate the building, including alternative escape routes if necessary.

Fire exit sign

Fire procedures

In the event of a fire emergency, it is crucial to prioritize the safety of our guests. Immediate action should be taken by informing them to evacuate the building using the nearest exit and promptly contacting the fire and rescue service. Our escape plans must be comprehensive, considering the diverse range of potential guests and taking into account factors such as age, mobility, and language proficiency.

To ensure clarity and efficiency, we recommend creating a concise and user-friendly plan of the premises. This plan should include clear instructions on what guests should do in the event of a fire. Providing this information can greatly assist our guests in taking appropriate action during an emergency.

Additionally, it is highly beneficial to furnish our guests with the complete address of the premises. This allows them to provide accurate information to the emergency services when contacting them. By equipping our guests with this vital information, we can expedite the response time of the emergency services and enhance the overall safety of everyone involved.

Further guidance

Fire safety guidance

holiday let fire safety image

In this enlightening blog post, we embarked on a journey exploring the essentiality of fire safety in small paying guest accommodations in the beautiful locales of Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset. We discussed the legal and moral obligations that property owners have towards ensuring the safety of their guests.

We delved into the various preventive measures that can be taken, from installing smoke alarms to providing clear evacuation plans. We also highlighted the importance of regular fire risk assessments, ensuring that both the property owners and guests are aware of potential hazards and how to react in the event of a fire.

Fire risk assessment sample

Moreover, we shed light on the role of local fire and rescue services in providing guidance and support. Throughout the discussion, we emphasized the crucial role of everyone involved - property owners, managers, and guests - in maintaining fire safety. We ended with a strong call to action, urging all readers to take fire safety seriously, because when it comes to preserving lives, every step counts.

This blog post is a must-read for anyone involved in the running of small paying guest accommodations, offering both practical advice and thought-provoking insights into the world of fire safety. It's time to make safety a priority, today and always.

Looking to ensure the utmost safety for your small paying guest accommodation in Devon, Cornwall, or Somerset? Look no further than 225 Fire Solutions!

Our expert team is here to offer you a comprehensive fire risk assessment that will provide you with peace of mind and protect your guests. With years of experience in the field, we understand the unique challenges that small accommodations face when it comes to fire safety.

Our assessment will identify potential hazards, evaluate your current safety measures, and provide you with a tailored plan to enhance your fire safety protocols. Don't compromise on the safety of your guests - book a fire risk assessment with 225 Fire Solutions today and rest easy knowing that you've taken the necessary steps to protect lives and property.

225 fire solutions team.

225 fire solutions logo

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