Fire-safe student accommodation – what you’re entitled to

Are you going to rent accommodation? Before you sign the rental contract, you should check that the landlord takes fire safety seriously.

The owner of the accommodation is responsible for complying with the fire safety requirements. These requirements are:

Escape routes

The accommodation must have enough escape routes, and these must work. Check which escape routes you must have. Your responsibility as a tenant is to keep the escape routes clear. For example, you must not store furniture or boxes in front of the door to the back stairs if these are part of an escape route.

Smoke alarms and extinguishers

All accommodation must have a fire alarm system or smoke alarm(s) and extinguishing equipment in the form of a domestic fire hose or fire extinguisher filled with foam or powder. There must be at least one smoke alarm on each floor. This must cover the kitchen, living room, and zones outside bedrooms and technical rooms.

There must not be a door between the room in which the smoke alarm is installed and the area which it is designed to cover. For example, if you have a smoke alarm in the living room and there is a door between this room and the kitchen, then you need a second smoke alarm in the kitchen.

The alarm must be clearly audible in bedrooms and lounges when the doors between the rooms are closed. The owner of the accommodation is responsible for ensuring that these alarms are fitted. Your responsibility as a tenant is to test the smoke alarms. Also remember to replace the battery once a year.

Fire extinguishing equipment must be maintained so that it is in working order and always ready for use. Your responsibility as a tenant is to check the equipment regularly. It is the responsibility of the owner of the accommodation to ensure that fire extinguishing equipment is inspected by a qualified professional. If you notice that any equipment is faulty or missing, you must notify the owner of the accommodation.

Approved for rental

If the rental accommodation is a self-contained unit, it must be approved for rental. If only one room in a home is being rented out, this does not need to be approved.

The owner is responsible for ensuring that

  • The accommodation has enough escape routes
  • There is a fire alarm system or enough smoke alarms
  • The accommodation has fire extinguishing equipment – domestic fire hose or fire extinguisher

The tenant is responsible for

  • Testing the smoke alarms
  • Checking fire extinguishing equipment regularly
  • Notifying the landlord of any faulty or missing equipment

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