One of the requirements for all holiday homes let out to paying guests in the UK is to have a fire risk assessment. You might think that this is just another document to complete and file away.
Well, if you had a fire or a visit from the Fire Service that would be a very important document that the Fire Service would want to see.
The fire risk assessment is a legal document that shows the precautions that the holiday home owner has taken to prevent fire and if one occurs, then the procedures that will be taken for a safe evacuation out of the property.
For the Fire Service, they want to see a ‘suitable and sufficient’ document that covers all relevant fire safety procedures.
Causes of fire
In the domestic home, the number 1 cause of fires is arson. There are many reasons for this which could include insurance claims, disgruntled neighbours, children playing and arsonists watching the fire and blue lights.
The number 2 cause of fire in the domestic home is electrical goods catching fire. We all watched in horror at the fire in the Grenfell Tower on June 14th 2017 where sadly 72 people lost their lives and many lost their homes.
It is believed that the fire started from a fridge freezer in one of the flats.
In holiday homes let out to paying guests there will be a significant number of electrical items and the owner has the responsibility to ensure that all electrical items are fit for purpose and in good working order.
Within the hospitality sector, it is expected that all portable electrical items such as hairdryers, lamps and cooking equipment will be checked each year and that a suitable qualified electrician will carry out a PAT test (portable appliance testing).
This is very important in your due diligence and you should state the frequency and date of PAT testing within your fire risk assessment.
Electrical items that have not passed during the inspection must be removed from the property so that they cannot be used at all.
When purchasing electrical items for your property always ensure that you have chosen good quality items. Electrical items used by your guests need to stand up to regular use.
There is always the temptation to cut costs on purchasing items such as phone chargers for our guests.
Well, don’t. Phone chargers should always be purchased from a reputable supplier as cheap products can easily overheat and catch fire. Phone chargers have been the cause of many fires in homes.
A suitable qualified electrician should inspect your fixed/hard wiring circuits in your property every 3-5 years and as the owner you should ensure that any work required is then carried out promptly.
Membership of Holiday Homes Advice
If you would like to know more about electrical testing, fire risk assessments or any other legislation requirements for holiday homes let out to paying guests then join up as a member which is excellent value starting at £49.