Fire safety statistics show that people who live in rented accommodation have a greater chance of having a fire.
- One of the problems is that rented accommodation may not always be as well maintained. If you can’t get your landlord to make your house safe, do it yourself – it could save your life.
When renting a property it is important to take steps to prevent fire, as statistics show that you are seven times more likely to have a fire if you live in rented accommodation. A fire can generate toxic smoke that can overwhelm you in seconds.
Here are some of the things you can do to keep yourself safe;
- Check you have a smoke alarm. Test it monthly to ensure it works. If you don’t know how to test it, ask you Landlord or agent
- In the event of a fire, know what the escape routes are. If you are in a flat DO NOT use a lift in the event of a fire. It might stop working and you could be trapped
- Check you have a fire extinguish and it is within the manufacturers recommended date
- Check you have a fire blanket in the kitchen to put out a cooking fire
- Avoid over loading electrical sockets
- Do not leave your cooking unattended
- Close all fire doors when you go to bed. In modern houses the doors from kitchens/ living areas should be to fire regulations and will buy you time to get out of your house if closed at night
- Keep your exit route free from obstruction
- Do not smoke in your property or allow guests to do so
Know your landlord’s obligations
Under the law your landlord has to meet the following safety obligations to keep your home safe from fire.
They will need to:
- Make sure your gas and electric appliances are in good working order – gas appliances should be checked by a Corgi registered gas fitter every year, and electrical appliances should carry the British Safety Standard sign
- Ensure your furnishings are fire resistant and meet fire safety regulations
- Show you the relevant safety certificates so you can see when appliances were last checked
- Supply you with a carbon monoxide detector.
If you are worried your landlord is not doing enough to ensure your safety, contact your local Council’s Environmental Health Office, who will be able to give you more details about your landlord’s obligations and can force your landlord to provide adequate fire precautions.
Questions to ask your landlord:
- Is there a current electrical safety certificate and can you see a copy of it?
- Is there a gas safety certificate and can you see a copy of it?
- Are the chimneys and flues cleaned and checked regularly?
- Is the house registered with the local authority as being lived in by more than one household (that is, as being ‘multiple occupation’)?
Don’t be the unlucky person to die in a fire.
Following the correct fire safety precautions when renting can keep you safe. Do it now – it is too important to wait