Whether you are an established landlord in the social or private sector or a first-timer, understanding fire safety and effectively communicating it to tenants is both legally and morally indispensable.
Installation of fire prevention measures in rental accommodation is mutual responsibility of the landlord and the tenant. It is therefore very important that landlords make the responsibilities – and repercussions – of each party clear. Communication plays a key role, when it comes to convey the common causes of fire, highlighting the ways tenants can prevent them, and what to do in case of it.
Understanding the problems
The majority of electrical fires are due to faulty supply to wiring, cabling and plugs; while larger appliances like washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers were also common culprits. It’s observed that unexpected items like mirrors left in direct sunlight can cause a fire. Other vulnerable individuals can be children, disabled people or living with an illness such as dementia. For those with mobility issues, landlords must install extra protection in the home; for example, implementation of a LD1 category system or providing extra technological devices such as Stove Guard or low frequency sounders.
How do you communicate fire safety?
Upon the identification of the fire hazards and installed appropriate fire safety measures, the next step is sharing this information with all of the tenants. Landlords should distribute all necessary information to all occupants, regardless of the type of rented accommodation and duration of stay.
Children must be educated about fire safety via safety posters and safety signs and there are many ways to approach the subject without causing distress. As a flat owner, one could advise that tenants walkthrough an escape plan with their kids, or present routes as a game. A landlords could also provide fire safety handouts to children that they can colour in as they learn.
Only working alarms save lives
“Only working alarms save lives” is a slogan that landlords should share with tall the occupants as a reminder to regularly check that their alarms are in working condition. To provide maximum fire safety, private landlords should ensure that smoke alarms are installed on every level of rental premises/building in escape routes such as the hall and landing. All alarms must be aligned with Building Regulations.Landlords should advise their tenants to check their fire and heat alarms weekly, to clean them with a soft brush-fitted hoover every three months and to be aware of their expiry dates.
Safe and Well Visits
A good communication between tenant and a landlord is key to safer environment. The landlords can also opt for fire safety checks or assessments conducted by a local Fire and Rescue Service/ fire safety consultants. These audits and checks are usually local-authority dependant, but most offer ‘Safe and Well Visits’. These services are geared at educating and advising tenants about fires and general well being in the home.
Landlords must take their duty seriously to ensure all parties are able do their best to prevent fires and stay safe at all times. Education and awareness through fire safety posters and fire safety signs are key points in this effort and, along with the advent of ever-improving fire prevention technology, This ensures the risk of dying in a fire at home is reduced. To learn more about fire safety, with a particular focus on preventing fires in the kitchen – the most dangerous room in the home – one can install fire safety posters by Kaizen India. It can serve as a handout for tenants as well as information for landlords.