Improving Fire Safety

Improving Fire Safety

Fire Safety

Improving Fire Safety

From our friends at Property Reporter

Article by Warren Lewis:

More than half the population of UK landlords have taken measures to check the fire safety of their buy-to-let properties in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

A survey of 500 private landlords found that a third (32%) had checked their fire alarms, and 15% had instructed a professional to carry out a fire risk assessment.

Landlords of houses in multiple occupancy (HMO) and flats were amongst the most proactive over last four weeks, with fire alarm checks being conducted in 50% of HMO properties and 35% of flats. These properties also saw a higher than average number of professional checks, with 39% of HMO and 22% of flats being visited for professional assessments.

Other measures taken by landlords included checking construction materials and contacting the freeholder regarding fire safety checks. 17% of landlords also said that they had installed a carbon monoxide alarm.

The survey, carried out on behalf of Simple Landlords Insurance, was conducted a month after the Grenfell Tower fire in London.

 Perhaps unsurprisingly with Grenfell on their doorstep, landlords in London were the most responsive of all the geographic regions polled. Some 72% reported having taken at least one action following the fire, compared with just a third of landlords in Wales.

Gas safety

One area of concern uncovered by the survey, however, was gas safety.  Whilst every landlord questioned said they had conducted a gas safety inspection at their property, only 83% said that it had happened within the last 12 months. Landlords are required by law to have a Gas Safe registered engineer service gas appliances in accordance with the manufacturers instructions and also ensure that an anual safety check is carried out on each gas appliance/flue. The majority of the remaining landlords (11%) fell between the 12 and 18-month bracket - and an alarming 4% said it had been more than three years since their last gas safety inspection.

Graham Jolliffe, Director of Maher Ross said "The Isle of Wight is not immune - we take our responsibility to keep our Landlords and Tenants safe very seriously indeed.  If there are to be any positive outcomes from the Grenfell Disaster, then it will be the way in which it has helped to highlight the dangers and need for Fire Safety. From our own experience, we find that we very regularly find ourselves providing practical Fire Safety and Health and Safety advice to a wide variety of Landlords across the Island".