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For Tenants: Fire Safety

Although landlords must make sure they meet their legal fire safety responsibilities and duty of care to their tenants, the responsibility for preventing fires in rented properties falls to tenants too.

Tenants need to make sure they are doing all they can to mitigate fire risks throughout the property. Good landlord and tenant communication can help facilitate this. For example, landlords should:

• Fully outline fire safety measures, such as the importance of carrying out regular (ideally monthly) smoke alarm tests and ask tenants to contact them without delay if they are worried about fire safety in the property

• Provide advice to prevent electrical fires – switch off and unplug appliances when not in use, don’t overload extension leads and plug sockets

• Remind tenants to take care when in the kitchen – remove pans from the heat if leaving the kitchen, keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob, clean the oven, hob and grill frequently as a build-up of grease can ignite a fire

• Ask tenants to keep Christmas cards and decorations away from heaters, fireplaces and candles and not to leave candles and open flames unattended

• Advise tenants to minimise the use of flammable substances and never to leave any near a heat source. Clothes dried near heaters cause thousands of house fires every year

• Make sure tenants know how to be prepared – agree a safe place to keep the window and door keys so that everyone can find them in case of an emergency, make sure everyone knows the escape route and have a second exit in the event a fire is blocking the first one

• Remind tenants to keep escape routes and exits free of obstructions and not to prop open fire doors

• Make sure tenants don’t store combustible objects near boilers or fuse boxes

What to do if there’s a fire in your property

In the event of a fire, it’s vital to act quickly to save lives:

• Use a fire extinguisher or fire blankets to combat the fire if it is safe to do so

• Call the Emergency services on 999 and ask for the fire brigade

• Make sure that the property is safe before allowing anyone to re-enter

• Take time-stamped photos if it is safe to do so

• Contact your insurers to notify them of the situation and begin the claims process. They will advise you on the next steps to take

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