Fire safety for tenants
Every year, people are injured in accidental fires in the home but following some simple steps can help keep you safe. Find out what you and your landlord should do to help prevent fires in your home.
What your landlord must do
Legislation for Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms require social and private rented landlords to:
- Ensure there are smoke alarms on every storey of their homes and check they are working at the start of the tenancy.
- Ensure carbon monoxide alarms are in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers) and check they are working at the start of the tenancy. Once a tenant has moved in, it is their responsibility to make sure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working. The exception is certain houses that have at least 3 unrelated tenants (called houses in multiple occupation) where the responsibility stays with the landlord. Ask your landlord if this applies to you or you can find out what qualifies as a house in multiple occupation on the GOV.UK website.
- Ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once informed and found that they are faulty.
In privately rented accommodation, landlords have to meet certain safety obligations under the law. The landlord must:
- Ensure furnishings are fire resistant and meet safety regulations.
- Make sure any appliances and furniture they have provided are kept in a safe condition.
- Arrange an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe engineer (where there are any gas appliances).
- Arrange an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) every five years.
- Show tenants safety certificates to prove when gas and electric appliances were last checked.
- Ensure there are adequate escape routes from the property.
- Ensure the property is free from dangerous fire hazards.
What you should do
Landlords must provide smoke alarms but you, the tenant, are personally responsible for making sure they continue to work after the initial test.
- test your smoke alarms at least once every month
- check if any of the smoke alarms have one-year batteries and if they do, change them every year
- only take the batteries out when you need to replace them
Your local fire and rescue service may be able to visit your home and check it for risks. Find your fire and rescue service (do not call 999).
If you live in a flat, there are more risks that you need to be aware of. Find out more about fire safety in blocks of flats.
Concerns about your home’s safety
If you are worried your landlord is not doing enough to ensure your safety, you should talk to them about your concerns.
If after you have spoken to your landlord, you are still not happy about the safety of your home, you can contact your local council. They will be able to investigate and take action.
More information on renting generally can be found in the government booklet 'How to rent', available from the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent