X

Sign Up

or

By signing up I agree to Property Tribes Terms and Conditions


Already a PT member? Log In

Sign Up

Sign Up With Facebook, Twitter, or Google

or


By signing up, I agree to Property Tribes Terms and Conditions


Already a PT member? Log In

Log In

or


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Forgot Password

To reset your password just enter the email address you registered with and we'll send you a link to access a new password.


Already a PT member? Log In

Don't have an account? Sign Up

  • HMO & Multi-Lets

    Fire Safety: Council vs Fire Safety Specialists

    Hi, I manage 2 houses with 6 beds on 3 floors with communal lounge/kitchen. I am told one thing from HMO council people whom gave me a HMO license and something very different from fire safety specialists. Council says there should be fire alarms in communal areas interlinked and fire blankets, and that is sufficient. 'No need for all that expensive guff'. But here is an extract from the fire safety people:

    As these are 3 Storey HMO's, this type of system does Not Comply with either British Standard 5839: Part 1 or Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005. In order to Comply a Full system with a Control Panel and Automatic Detectors, Call Points and Sounders are required in the Communal Areas, with a Heat Detector behind the Front Door of every individual Bedsit which is interlinked into the Communal Area Alarm System. Each individual Bedsit then requires interlinked Domestic Detectors contained within each bedsit.

    It appears that your Local Council have advised you that you are Not required to install Fire Extinguishers, again we must point out that in our opinion this does Not Comply with either British Standard 5306 or Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005.

    As we carry out all work in accordance with both British Standards and Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005, regarding the work on the Fire Detection System that you have requested us to quote for, unfortunately we are unable on this occasion to provide a quotation to work on a None Complaint System.

    Regarding the Quotation that we have previously sent you, relating to the provision of the New Fire Extinguishers that in our opinion are required, we strongly recommend that you either get written confirmation from the Council stating they are happy for you to Not provide any Extinguishers, if this is not forthcoming, we recommend that you seek the advise from your Local Fire Officer.


    Which is right? Should there be a serious fire would I be liable?
    0
    0
    Is there any booking in the bedsits?

    I would not feel happy with what your Council is asking for, but I think the Fire Safety Specialists may have specked a system assuming cooking in each room.

    Fire Extinguishers are always hard to decide on, as the tenants should be trained in using them if you provide them. They may also get a tenant to take a risk when they should just get out.
    0
    0
    Thanks for the reply Ian!

    There is no cooking in the rooms and i'll ask if they have used the wrong definition.

    I assume it is necessary to be compliant with these standards, should the HMO license not be the check for that and if they are not compliant for some reason the council have missed would the council or officer responsible for issuing the license be liable or would I or both? I.e. Can I rely on the HMO license to be satisfied ive done my due diligence or do I have to get in the expensive specialists to check things again?
    0
    0

    Without cooking in the rooms you should have smoke detectors in each room linked to the fire alarm panel. (You only need heat detectors with local smoke detectors to stop false alarms if people are cooking or maybe smoking in the rooms. )

    Get a new Fire Safety Specialists!

    (I think a panel should always be used if the room doors can be locked by tenants, as it make it easier to track down why an alarm has sounded.)
    1
    0
    Well I live in Cheltenham and could only find cleve fire. The fire department just told me to contact the council as they deal with fire safety in HMOs.

    So I am pretty confused because the HMO council people tell me I absolutely don't need a fire panel (yes rooms are locked) as long as they are linked and only a fire blanket.

    Do rules vary according to each council, hard to believe they have it wrong?
    0
    0

    see https://www.cieh.org/library/Knowledge/Ho...nce_08.pdf
    and https://homestamp.com/wp-content/https://uploads.propertytribes.com/...de2012.pdf page 42 and page 6 are what I go on.

    The law says a risk assessment must be done and reasonable steps taken to control the risk.
    0
    0
    I think this goes back to what you were saying earlier about the difference between a bedroom with and without cooking facilities. This fire guide would agree with cleve fire but talks about bedsits.

    I think the council is saying without these appliances in the bedrooms the fire risk is from the kitchen only and so no need for panels and the fire extinguishers are not required because tenants have the option to just leave the property instead of fighting the fire.

    It would cost me 10k to put in panels to the two houses with all the equipment cleve fire suggest would bring it up to standard and the council say if I do that i then have to train each person and have them sign off they have it.
    0
    0
    I am putting a full panel type system into my HMO, but it is a complete "back to brick" refit. That way I know no one will be able to question if I have a good enough system.

    If I already had a system installed I would just try to get the council to confirm in writing that it is OK.

    I think fire blankets in kitchen are worthwhile, but question fire extinguishers, as if you don't allow smoking there is no need to put fire out in bins. Most other fires are hard to put out with an extinguisher.
    0
    0

    That makes perfect sense to me. I assume confirmation in writing is the HMO license from the council to say its fit to let as a HMO.

    Is the conclusion then that the fire safety specialists are wrong about the fire safety rules? If they dont often deal with HMOs this is possible, especially as I have read through them and find them very unclear, thats why I called in specialists!

    If there is no clear answer it seems to me to be reasonable to accept that it fire safe and responsible based on the HMO license granted by the council who have deemed it safe to let as a HMO. I will ignore the cleve fire specialists.
    0
    0

    The issue is that Risk is never well defined.

    I also hate false alarm and a full panel is a lot easier to to track problems down with, as it tells you what set the alarm off. So it lets you prove if one tenant keeps setting it off form smoking in their room.

    False alarm are a big issues, as if you get many the system will just be ignored.
    0
    0