If you own any form of holiday home such as cottages, B&B’s and Guest Houses etc where guests pay to stay in the property then the Fire Safety Order applies to you. Before anything else you need to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment which will help you to assess any risks present which you can then put in measures to reduce the risk. You can ask your local fire service for advice but they cannot carry out the risk assessment for you. When carrying out the assessment you should follow the following 5 steps:
What is a Fire Hazard?
Think about how a fire could start on your premises, go around your premises inside and outside looking for any hazards.
Who is at Risk?
Everyone - Young children, elderly or people with disabilities may be at more risk should a fire break out so procedures need to be out in place for any situation.
What is your plan to keep people safe?
You need to consider points such as do you have an alarm and can it be heard in all bedrooms?
Normally a system hardwired to the mains with interconnected detectors in the staircase, corridor and bedrooms will suffice.
Will everyone be able to find their way out in an emergency?
You should develop an evacuation plan which is placed on the back of the guest room door and in arrival packs which shows guests the exit route in an emergency.
Do you have equipment for fighting small fires and does it require simple training for guests?
If you deem the need for fire extinguishers necessary you should ensure their operating instructions are legible and warn guests not to use them unless it is a very small fire. You may also want to provide brief training on their use.
Record, Plan and Train
It is good practice to keep written evidence of any hazards found during your assessment along with measures you have taken to reduce the risk.
You should also record things such as firefighting equipment maintenance, fire alarm system testing and any form of training carried out.
Maintain Your Risk Assessment
You should review your risk assessment regularly to ensure there have been no changes. Also if you carry out any form of works on your premises you should review your assessment to ensure it still meets the requirements.
Remember if you do not carry out a Fire Risk Assessment you are breaking the law and could be putting people’s lives at risk.
You can also find further information to assist you in carrying out a Fire Risk Assessment in the government guide:
You can also contact us on 0800 180 4132 or email us at email@example.com