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HMO Fire Risk Assessment

HMO Fire Risk Assessment from £225

All Assessments delivered by Fully Accredited IFSM Members (Institute Of Fire Safety Managers)

We specialise in providing Fire Risk Assessments for HMO Properties, taking into account the specific requirements with HMO licensing.   Our fire risk assessments will help you to comply with your legal responsibilities.

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8 Pegler Square London SE3 9GR

Fire Risk Assessment Booking Info

What is a HMO?

• occupied by 3 or more unrelated persons who share facilities, such as the bathroom or kitchen, e.g. lodgers, house shares (including student houses) or houses arranged as bedsits (also applies to mixed use with some self-contained flats)

• divided into self-contained flats but does not meet as a minimum standard the requirements of the 1991 Building Regulations, and at least one third of flats are occupied under short tenancies.

What is an HMO fire risk assessment?

An HMO fire risk assessment is a systematic evaluation conducted on properties rented out to multiple tenants. The primary goal is to identify and manage potential fire risks, ensuring the safety of all occupants. The assessment is completed in line with local HMO Licensing requirements

• divided into self-contained flats but does not meet as a minimum standard the requirements of the 1991 Building Regulations, and at least one third of flats are occupied under short tenancies.

Why is Fire Risk a greater concern for HMOs?

HMO accommodation has often been created by sub division of larger properties into smaller units and this often increases the risks that a fire will occur.

In addition, the means of escape may have been compromised in the process of redevelopment making it less likely that occupants will get out of the building safely should a fire occur. A good standard of fire safety is extremely important to protect them. This applies to all types of HMOs whether or not a licence is required. Deaths and injuries from fires in HMOs are more likely than in single family homes. Some of the reasons for this are;

• portable heating and cooking appliances may be used in bedrooms. • there maybe more than one kitchen in the building.

• electrical circuits can become overloaded

• there are more people in the house who are living independently of, and having no control over each other’s behaviour.

• If a fire should break out in a large HMO, escape can be difficult because of the distance of travel and height above ground level. The risk of serious injury or death can therefore be increased. In addition, if a fire breaks out, the person who discovers it may not know who else is in the house and is less likely to know if everyone has escaped

How often should an HMO fire risk assessment be conducted?

Fire risk assessments for HMOs should be conducted regularly. While the frequency may vary, it is generally advisable to review and update the assessment annually or whenever there is a significant change to the property or its use.

Do I have to inform tenants about fire protection?

Existing tenants should be informed about the fire protection system as soon as it is installed, and new tenants should be informed as soon as they move in. All tenants must be informed of:

• what the fire alarm is for and how to recognise the sound

• what to do in the event of a fire, leaving the building, calling 999

• the escape route; a practice fire drill is a good idea

• the importance of not propping open fire doors

• the importance of not interfering with the alarm system; not covering or removing detectors

• the importance of not blocking escape routes with furniture, bicycles or rubbish etc

• who to report any problems to

What factors are considered during an HMO fire risk assessment?

Several factors are taken into account during an HMO fire risk assessment (all we can help with), including the property layout, fire detection systems, escape routes, fire doors, emergency lighting, and overall fire safety management.

Are there specific regulations governing fire safety in HMOs?

Yes, there are specific regulations that vary by region or country. In the UK, for example, the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 are relevant. It’s crucial to stay informed about local regulations.

Who is responsible for conducting the assessment?

The responsibility for the fire risk assessment typically lies with the property owner, landlord, or the person managing the HMO. In some cases, a competent person may be appointed to carry out the assessment on their behalf.

General Principles for Fire Precaution in HMOs

1. Every risk room (bedroom, living room, kitchen) must have a mains wired detector/alarm. These will detect fires at the earliest opportunity and ensure that warning is sounded.

2. The detectors need to be linked so that everyone in the house is alerted when the alarm sounds.

3. Emergency lighting illuminates the escape route to show persons the way out if the electricity supply is interrupted.

4. The protected escape route must always be kept clear of obstructions.

5. As an owner or manager of an HMO property, you must minimise the risk of a fire by carrying out a risk assessment. This must be carried out by a competent person and any identified fire hazards rectified.

6. All bedroom and exit doors, if fitted with a lock must be openable from the inside without the use of a key.

7. Fire blankets and fire extinguishers can be useful in tackling small fires and preventing their uncontrolled spread, but on balance it is best to encourage people to leave the house quickly and call the fire service. There are injuries every year as a result of ineffective or inappropriate use of fire equipment. Where fire equipment is provided, all residents must receive proper instruction in the use of it. Fire blankets must be provided in all rooms that have cooking facilities.

8. Where a basement or commercial premises are present, these shall be separated from the residential area by structure including doors providing 60 minutes fire protection.

How long will it take for me to receive my completed Fire Risk Assessment?

Our FRA’s are available at short notice. Currently we are returning completed Fire Risk Assessments within 24 hours of the property inspection, usually on the same day. If your request is urgent, please let us know. If your request is urgent, we can offer immediate surveys with 24 hours notice.

Which qualifications do your Fire Risk Assessors hold? Are they 'bona fide' risk assessors?

Our Fire Risk Assessors are fully qualified, our qualifications are approved by the Institute of Fire Safety Managers (IFSM) for whom Fire Safe London’s assessors have completed an accredited course at Fire Technician (TIFSM) level. We deliver comprehensive FRA Assessments.

How often should a Fire Risk Assessment be completed?

In general, fire safety assessments should be reviewed on an annual basis, although the frequency may need to be increased or decreased depending on factors such as the type and use of the premises, the level of risk and any changes that occur in the premises. In the UK, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires that fire risk assessments are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure they remain relevant and effective in identifying potential fire hazards and assessing the risks they pose to people and property.

When do I have to pay?

Only once the service has been completed, upon successful completion of the Fire Risk Assessment. 

Can I see a reference Fire Risk Assessment before booking?

Yes – please send a request for a sample assessment and we’ll send this across.

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