Fire Safety Tips for Landlords

Read our a simple introductory guide to the key fire safety factors UK landlords need to consider when renting out their properties.

Important fire safety precautions for UK landlords

Gas safety checks must be carried out within 12 months of the installation of any new appliance or flue which you provide and annually thereafter by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. A record of each safety check must be filed for two years and a copy of this record must be issued to each tenant within 28 days of the check.  

The only time this rule does not apply is: if your tenants’ lease is for longer than seven years and is for life. In which case, as the landlord, you are responsible for gas safety checks and maintenance. Any gas appliance that you own and provide for your tenants' use is your legal responsibility. If a tenant has their own gas appliance that you have not provided, then you have responsibilities only for parts of the associated installation and pipework but not for the actual appliance.

Electrical safety checks aren’t required as such, but there are certain precautions that landlords should take to protect their tenants and properties. Moreover, a tenant can reasonably expect that all electrical installations are kept in good working order by the landlord. Furthermore, a landlord is potentially liable if a tenant suffers injury or death due to an electrical defect on work carried out on behalf of the landlord.

Alarm requirements for UK rental properties

Fire alarm

Since 2015, UK landlords have been required by law to install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in their rental properties. Carbon monoxide alarms must be fitted in all rooms containing any appliance that burns or is designed to burn solid fuel. Smoke alarms must be fitted on every storey of the property which is used as living space (e.g. potentially not an attic, if it is not used as living space). These alarms should be tested regularly. Additionally, all properties built after 1992 have been required to feature mains operated inter-connected smoke alarms on every level of the property.

Note: Failure to fit alarms can result in a civil penalty of up to £5,000.

Frequently asked questions

Is it compulsory to provide fire extinguishers in a rental property?

In a single household property, landlords are not required to provide fire extinguishers or fire blankets. However, landlords of HMOS (Houses in Multiple Occupancy), are required to provide fire blankets in all kitchen areas and at least one fire extinguisher for each storey of the property.

Do I need to employ a specialist engineer to undertake gas work?

It is strongly recommended that you check that any engineer carrying out gas work is a Gas Safe registered engineer.