England’s New Fire Safety Regulations: What Holiday Home Owners Need to Know
On the 1st of October 2023, the government is set to introduce new fire safety regulations for holiday homes in England. The primary goal behind these changes is to enhance safety measures in holiday rentals, ensuring the utmost protection for guests during their stays. This transition in the industry necessitates a thorough understanding of the modifications and your responsibilities as a self-catering property owner.
Owner Responsibilities and Actions
With these impending changes, it is advisable to have a professional Fire Risk Assessment conducted rather than attempting it yourself. The new regulations are intricate and can be challenging to grasp, making professional guidance essential for compliance and guest safety. Ensure regular revisits to your Fire Risk Assessment, particularly when alterations are made to your property.
Several organisations within the fire safety industry maintain registries of companies capable of assisting with Fire Risk Assessments and necessary improvements. While adhering to these regulations may incur costs, it is possible to offset some expenses against your tax liability. It is advisable to consult with an accountant or tax specialist to explore these options.
Understanding the New Guidelines
The new guidelines distinguish between small self-catering premises, open-plan properties, and larger self-catering accommodations. It is crucial to determine which category your property falls into, as the rules vary based on size and characteristics.
Smaller Properties (Less than 4 Bedrooms or Sleeps Less than 10 Guests):
These properties typically adhere to these guidelines: Small Accommodation Fire Safety Guidelines
Open-Plan or Larger Properties (4 Bedrooms or More, or Sleeps More than 10 Guests):
These properties should follow these guidelines: Large Accommodation Fire Safety Guidelines
Key Points from the New Guidelines
Here’s a summary of crucial aspects outlined in the new government guidelines, though it is not exhaustive:
1. Fire Risk Assessment: It will become a legal obligation for all properties to have a detailed, written fire risk assessment that addresses every facet of potential fire hazards. A physical copy of this comprehensive fire risk evaluation should be visibly displayed within your property, preferably in the welcome folder. We highly advise you to engage a fire safety specialist who can conduct a current assessment of your property that complies with legislative requirements. For properties that are larger or more intricate, it is highly improbable that the owner will possess the necessary expertise to adequately assess the level of risk.
2. Emergency Lighting: Ensure adequate lighting for safe evacuation in the event of a fire. All bedrooms and evacuation paths must be equipped with emergency escape lighting, like plug-in flashlights. Consideration can be given to ambient light from an external source, such as a street lamp. Larger properties may need comprehensive escape path lighting since flashlights might not provide adequate illumination.
3. Fire Doors: Install fire-resistant doors on escape routes that offer 30-minute fire protection capability.
4. Smoke Detectors & Fire Alarms: Linked hard-wired detectors are required in bedrooms, living rooms, and escape routes.
5. Fire Alarm Checks: Regular checks, including weekly assessments during guest turnovers, are essential.
6. Heating: Inspect heating and hot water systems annually.
7. Locks: Install thumb-turn locks on exit doors for improved safety.
8. Electrical Safety: The EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) is required every five years.
9. Woodburners & Open Fires: Regular chimney flue sweeping is necessary.
10. Fire Safety Equipment: Provide fire extinguishers and fire blankets, with regular checks.
11. Candles: Consider prohibiting candles and establish a clear policy for guests.
What’s the Next Step to Ensure You Meet the New Regulations?
We highly recommend enlisting the services of a professional to perform your Fire Risk Assessment instead of attempting it on your own. The upcoming changes, effective from October 1st, introduce added complexity and can be challenging to navigate.
When it comes to locating a qualified professional to carry out the Fire Risk Assessment for your property, we suggest conducting a simple Google search and seeking out a ‘fire safety risk assessor.’
Subscribe to our newsletter
Other Blogs you may also like
Social Media Marketing for Hotels
A simple guide to creating a hotel social media strategy that works The prominence of social media marketing for hotels Social media is at the centre of everything we do. Work or personal life, social media is all around us (whether we want it to be or not). We’re living in a digital world, and […]
Vrbo Versus Airbnb for Hosting – Should You Double Dip?
Want to boost your bookings and increase visibility? Many hosts are now choosing to list their vacation rentals on both Airbnb and Vrbo. We already know what you’re thinking – that sounds like a risky recipe for double-booking your rentals. And that’s as stressful as it comes. As it turns out, these two competitors have […]
Selling Your Hotel? Why You Need a PMS Before You Do
When you’re ready to sell your hotel, it’s important to have a good property management system (PMS) already in place. A PMS helps you to keep track of your hotel’s finances, bookkeeping, and maintenance records. It can also help you manage your staff and guests. Having a good PMS in place before you sell your […]
The Top Used Revenue Management KPIs for Hotels
Revenue management is a crucial aspect of any hotel business, as it directly impacts the overall financial performance. To effectively manage revenue, hoteliers need to have a thorough understanding of their business operations and be able to track key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs provide valuable insights into the health of the business and help […]
Minimum Length of Stay (MLOS): The Hotel Dos and Don’ts
In the fast-paced world of hospitality, knowing and applying strategic policies can have a big impact on revenue and customer happiness. One important policy to consider is the Minimum Length of Stay (MLOS). This blog post is all about MLOS – what it is, why it matters, and how it can benefit hospitality businesses. We’ll […]
Leveraging Long-Tail Keywords to Boost Your Hotel’s SEO
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a critical component of digital marketing for hotels. It helps potential guests find your hotel when they are searching for lodging options online. However, the world of SEO can be competitive and ever-changing. One way to stay ahead of the game is by targeting long-tail keywords. In this blog post, we’ll explore […]