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HMO Fire Regulations 2024 – what landlords need to know

Updated: Jan 16

Welcome to our blog post on HMO fire regulations and HMO fire risk assessments in 2024 and what landlords need to know. As a landlord, it is crucial to stay informed about the latest regulations and requirements to ensure the safety of your tenants and compliance with the law.


In this post, we will explore the updated fire regulations for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) that will come into effect in 2024. We will discuss the key changes, the responsibilities of landlords, and provide practical tips to help you meet these requirements effectively. By understanding and implementing the necessary measures, you can create a safe living environment for your tenants while avoiding penalties and legal issues. So, let's dive in and explore the essential information you need to know about the upcoming HMO fire regulations in 2024.


THE NEW FIRE SAFETY REGULATIONS?

The new regulations apply to residential buildings which contain two or more domestic dwellings or rooms for residential purposes.

Those dwellings may be:

  • Private flats

  • Self-contained bedsit flats



HMO exeter
HMO Fire risk assessment in Exeter, Devon

HMO Fire Regulations: The Responsible Person.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 sets out the legal requirements required for fire safety in the common areas of houses in multiple occupation, maisonettes and blocks of flats.

For all properties covered within the fire safety order, there must be a responsible person or duty holder for ensuring compliance. This is normally the landlord or the managing agent.

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 state that the responsible person must:

  • Carry out a fire risk assessment which needs to be suitable and sufficient.

  • Provide fire safety information to tenants.

  • Display fire safety instructions, such as what to do in the event of the fire and the evacuation process.

Please see this useful guide for more information - LINK





Regulation 9 stipulates that fire safety instructions must be clearly and conspicuously displayed throughout the property, including common areas. These instructions should provide guidance on how to safely evacuate the premises, report a fire to the Fire and Rescue Service, and any other relevant instructions.


It is crucial to communicate the regulations to existing tenants in written or electronic form within 12 months of the regulations coming into effect (on or before 23rd January 2024), and subsequently every 12 months. New tenants should be informed of the rules within one month of moving in, or as soon as reasonably practical.


If there are any significant changes to the fire safety advice, it is important to update all signage and ensure they are prominently displayed throughout the building. Tenants must be notified of these changes within one month.



Regulation 10 covers all things fire doors. You will need to inform tenants with the following:

  • All fire doors must be closed when not being used.

  • They are forbidden from tampering with self-closing devices attached to fire doors.

  • They must report any damages or faults to a fire door to the responsible person.


Please see this useful government guide for more information - LINK



Fire risk management within your HMO:

HMO fire risk assessment


The first step in fire risk management is conducting a fire risk assessment. This involves identifying potential fire hazards, people at risk, and determining necessary fire safety measures. In most jurisdictions, this is a legal requirement for HMOs. The assessment should be regularly reviewed and updated, especially when there are changes in the layout or use of the house.







Fire Safety Measures


1. Fire Safety Equipment: Install and maintain essential fire safety equipment such as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and fire blankets. Smoke alarms should be provided in every room and hallway, and fire extinguishers should be accessible on each floor.


2. Fire Doors: Fire doors play a crucial role in containing a fire and preventing its spread. They should be fitted with self-closing devices and intumescent strips that swell in the event of a fire, blocking gaps and preventing smoke penetration.


3. Emergency Lighting: Emergency lighting should be provided in case of power failure during a fire. These lights will guide the occupants towards the nearest fire exit.


4. Fire Exit Routes: Clear and unobstructed fire exit routes should be identified and clearly marked.



Shared house, Fire alarm


Communication and Cooperation


Effective fire risk management in a shared house requires open communication and cooperation among all occupants. Everyone should be aware of the fire safety measures in place, their responsibilities, and the action to take in case of a fire. Regular fire drills can help ensure that everyone knows how to evacuate safely.


Conclusion


As the number of HMOs continues to rise, the implementation of stricter fire safety regulations is paramount. The HMO fire regulations set to take effect in 2024 aim to ensure the safety and well-being of occupants by introducing comprehensive fire safety measures.


It is crucial for HMO owners to familiarise themselves with these regulations, comply with the requirements, and prioritise the safety of their tenants. By doing so, HMOs can become safer living spaces, providing peace of mind to both owners and occupants alike.


Visit our website for more information where you'll be able to book a fire risk assessment and contact a fire risk assessment specialist.


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