Fire Safety For Landlords

Houses of multiple occupation. (HMO)

Landlords (Residential)

As a residential landlord, you have a general duty to keep your tenant's home fit for them to live in and ensure that it doesn't endanger their health. This includes ensuring there are no fire hazards in the property and if it is a house in multiple occupation (HMO), you have additional responsibilities.

What is an HMO?

Tenants may be protected by fire safety laws if they live in a house in multiple occupation (HMO). It can sometimes be difficult to establish whether the property is classed as an HMO so you should contact a housing adviser in your area if you're not certain. An HMO could be:

What fire precautions are needed?

HMOs should be fitted with fire warning systems such as fire alarms and heat or smoke detectors. These should be placed throughout the building but particularly in escape routes and areas of high risk such as kitchens. The fire warning system should be serviced and checked regularly.

Fire equipment such as extinguishers and fire blankets should be provided. There should be at least one fire extinguisher on each floor and a fire blanket in every shared kitchen. These have to be checked periodically and the correct sort of extinguisher must be provided.

What means of escape from fire should there be?

HMOs should have an escape route that can resist fire, smoke and fumes long enough for everyone to leave (usually at least 30 minutes). This could be an external fire escape, or internal stairs, corridors or walkways that are specially constructed or treated to resist fire. All the walls, ceilings, floors and partitions along the escape route must be fire resistant. All the doors leading to the escape route must be doors which are fire resistant and close automatically.