Fire Safety in Residential Accommodation

The Council has powers to enforce fire safety in residential premises via

  1. The Housing Act 2004 HHSRS
  2. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

The Fire Service also has powers under

  1. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Rented Accommodation

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force on 1st October 2015 requiring private sector landlords to:

  • Install at least one smoke alarm on every storey of their property (a mezzanine floor is not considered a storey) with the exception of licensed HMO's.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. coal fire, wood burning stove).
  • Check that these alarms are in working order on the day a new tenancy begins. (A Landlord may be asked to demonstrate compliance)

The regulations apply to existing tenancies as well as new ones. The type of alarm isn't stipulated, however The Council will accept battery powered as a minimum standard.

The local authority, will be responsible for enforcing the regulations and can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where a Landlord fails to comply with a Remedial Notice. A Statement of Principles will be published shortly.

  • Statement of Principles: The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015.

GOV.UK has published a helpful Q & A Booklet giving landlords and tenants more information on the regulations and their enforcement.


Houses in Multiple Occupation/ Shared Houses

Larger houses with multiple occupants or several storeys will require additional fire safety measures beyond those described in the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regs. Free advice can be sought from both Environmental Health and the Local Fire Service. The Local Government Association has produced a document  “Housing-Fire Safety” to advise on the best types of fire safety system, depending on the structure and occupancy use of certain premises. A professional Fire Risk Assessment is mandatory for residential premises with shared areas and will enable the “Responsible Person” to address identified risks.

If you live in a ‘house in multiple occupation’ (HMO), your landlord must…

  1. Assess the fire risks in the property and hold a written Fire Risk Assessment as required by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
  2. Provide and maintain all smoke/ fire alarms in the property. 
  3. Make sure all escape routes are kept clear. 
  4. Check regularly that fire precautions remain in place. 
  5. Your landlord may also have to provide a fire extinguisher and fire blankets.
  6. There must be notices pointing out fire exits if the HMO has five or more occupants.

Blocks of flats or maisonettes

If you live in a block of flats or maisonettes there must be a fire evacuation plan.

All front doors to corridors and staircases must be ‘fire doors’. A fire door can resist fire for a specified amount of time and will close itself to help stop a fire spreading. Escape routes should also be built to resist fire. They should be clearly signed and illuminated and kept clear of all obstructions.

If you are concerned your landlord has not provided the appropriate fire safety protection then contact us at