Domestic Property

There is no fire safety legislation that covers existing homes and no government would attempt to legislate for the home, an Englishmans home is his castle an old adage but never the less a true one. The head of the household has a duty and responsibility for looking after the family consequently it is considered that no legislation will ever be required. However the common areas of flats and maisonettes are controlled by The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and this order lays down certain requirements, check them out at the above link.

Homes that have been converted to other uses, half way houses, residential homes and houses in multiple occupation are subject to fire safety legislation. All domestic property when built were subjected to the building regulations. Part B and certain codes of practice deal with all fire safety measures. There is an approved document explaining how the builder can achieve the requirements stated in part B but as soon as it is built the responsibility for fire safety falls on the head of the household.

The following is a list of priority considerations :-

  • A fire escape plan should be the fist consideration combined with smoke alarms.
  • Any furniture should be fire retardant and meet the furniture regulations.
  • Any highly flammable surfaces should be removed, flock wallpaper and polystyrene tiles are a couple of examples.
  • The electric wiring system should be checked by an electrician at regular intervals and all sockets given a visual inspection for signs of burning or misuse.
  • If there are likely to be smokers in the house ensure there are plenty of ash trays which need to be cleaned and the contents disposed of at the end of each day.
  • Any open fires should be protected with fire guards and never dry washing on then.
  • Fire safety in the kitchen, especially pans being left unattended and frying pans if required treat with great caution

As to the costs, this falls on the occupier in owner/occupied property. It depends on the contract between the occupier and landlord in rented property but it may be worth checking the rent acts as there maybe clauses that could be helpful or contact the Citizen Advice Bureau.

The links below will give more detailed advice.

Fire Safety Advice for the home

There are leaflets available to down load from the Fire Kills web site and they should be freely available from your nearest Fire Station. If you require the local fire station location contact the Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters. Details of the Headquarters are available in the Fire & Rescue Services Directory, then contact them or use the F&RS website, for details of your nearest Fire Station.

The following guidance is based on leaflets issued over the years but still relevant today.

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April 1, 2011[Last updated: June 29, 2011]

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