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  • HMO & Multi-Lets

    Fire doors - viewing panel or not?

    Hi does anyone have any experience please:

    I'm in the process of working through all the fire safety upgrades required in my HMO's.  For the kitchens I'm debating whether to pay (quite a lot) more to have fire doors with a viewing panel.  But I would be rather annoyed if I did, only to find the door is wedged open all the time which I believe is a common occurrence in HMO's... does anyone know if having a door with a view panel will stop it being wedged open?  Thanks

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    It is the responsibility of the license holder to perform frequent check i.e. one, two or even three times per week, to ensure fire doors are not stuck open.

    My LA would prosecute if they found these checks were not being carried out.

    They can tell when they come to inspect by checking if there are cobwebs around the door closers.

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    So if I live in Banbury and have a HMO in Hull I am supposed to drive a round trip of 330 miles three times per week to check that no one has propped the kitchen door open?    Really?

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    what happens when I am in Majorca for two weeks holiday?

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    Really, 150 checks a year, A decent solicitors would make a water tight case for harassment in this instance. Staff at Banbury Council obviously have far too much time on their hands and far too little worth while work to do.

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    Really, you do need to take this seriously.

    If a fire spreads because the fire doors are left open, and someone is hurt or killed, you could end up in prison, because you, the license holder, is responsible.

    Read the legislation, being a license holder means you are responsible, means you should know this.

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    Google "fire landlord hmo" and see how many landlords are in prison.

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    There are numerous landlords with multiple huge fines owing to the number of tenants they put at risk but the prosecutions are usually for non-existent or non-functioning smoke detectors blocked or cluttered means of escape

    and other lack of maintenance and prevention or detection of fire risks. They hardly ever visited their properties or responded to tenants complaints. If you are worried about having proof of having practical measures for closing kitchen fire doors

    then install Dor guards or similar on them so the door can be held open. Nothing is infallible but this is best way to have automatic closure of doors to high risk areas as they will release as soon as your fire alarms sound.

    Most tenants wont bother to keep closing.doors.

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    I am taking it seriously.   So if I,  a professional and responsible Landlord,  inspect the house on Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. and a fire starts at 12 noon,  and spreads through the house,  due to an idiotic tenant propping the door open, and I, having done everything that is reasonably practicable to ensure that the premises are safe, can be held fully responsible for the ensuing fire?    I put it to you M'lud, that no Judge or Jury would convict on that basis.


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    I have designated a lead tenant for the house who makes sure tenants follow all the fire safety guidelines and oversees other general housekeeping chores (emptying bins, etc). They get a small amount knocked off their rent and it seems to work well.  I also double check that fire safety rules are being followed when I visit the house for the monthly fire alarm and emergency lighting test.  This is for a professional house share, I assume student and DSS accommodation would have to be tackled differently.

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