A definition of what constitutes this:
The updated guide on larger accommodation and properties that do not fit the small accommodation guide as above is still work in progress. This guidance is likely to be published during 2024 and is expected to be more comprehensive, so if you are making changes to your property, please factor fire precautions in.
We are here to support you as much as possible, by providing as much information as we can. However we are not able to provide professional advice and suggest approaching a professional Fire Risk assessor for expert support.
Below are some of the main points from the new guidance for ‘small paying guest accommodation’:
1. Fire Risk Assessment
You will already be familiar that it is a legal requirement to have a Fire Risk Assessment. With the new rules coming into force best practice would be to have your fire risk assessment carried out by a professional. A competent fire risk assessor should be registered/accredited by a professional body. Jeff Hick from Fire Safety Cornwall is a Truro based specialist that you could contact (approximate cost for a small property risk assessment is £150).
If you feel competent to do so you can conduct your own Fire Risk Assessment. PASC has provided a template for smaller properties. To request a copy of this please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) should be revisited regularly; amended if there are any structural changes to the property, and reviewed on an at least annual basis. The FRA document should also be displayed in your property and/or provided to the guests digitally.
2. Emergency escape lighting
If a fire interrupts the electricity supply you need to provide lighting to enable a safe exit. You can consider ‘borrowed lighting’ from nearby streetlights. It may be acceptable in small premises to use rechargeable torches, but ideally you would have some form of lighting that will come on automatically if the mains electricity supply fails.
3. Fire Doors
For most small accommodation you do not necessarily need fire doors but internal doors need to provide at least thirty minutes of fire protection. So-called ‘egg-box doors’, (hollow doors), should be replaced.
4. Smoke Detectors and Fire Alarms
Smoke detectors are now required in all bedrooms, sitting rooms, halls, and staircases. Best practice is that they should be wired into the lighting circuit. Battery alarms are only acceptable as a temporary solution for up to 2-3 years. Complex systems, with a fire panel, should be checked every six months. If you need assistance with getting more alarms installed please let us know and we will instruct a fire technician/electrician on your behalf.
The kitchen should have a heat alarm again linked as above.
You should have a CO2 alarm wherever there is combustible fuel equipment, such as a gas boiler or a log burner.
Your housekeeper should check the alarms on every changeover and keep a log. We are creating a digital asset to monitor this.
5. Heating and hot water
Hot water and heating systems must be inspected annually. This includes renewable energy such as air/ground source heat pumps.
Exit doors need to be easy to unlock from the inside without a key. Thumb turn locks are strongly recommended on all exit doors.
7. Fixed Wiring Checks
EICR (fixed wiring check) is required every 5 years.
8. Extension leads
Extension leads should be avoided.
Candles are not be provided/used in holiday homes and our terms and conditions have been updated to this effect.
All of our properties are non-smoking.
11. Wood-burners and open fires
Please sweep chimney flues annually and keep a copy of the HETAS certificate.
12. Fire Safety Equipment
Fire extinguishers are not mandatory, but if they are provided, they need to be non-powder multi-purpose and regularly maintained. You are expected to provide a fire blanket and this must be wall mounted between the hob and the nearest exit door.
13. Fire Notice
You must display a Fire Action notice which gives basic instructions about what to do and where to go in the event of fire, along with location information for the property, to provide to the local fire and rescue service.
14. Changeover checks
Checks on all fire safety equipment and exit routes must be carried out at each changeover and recorded. Our digital check will be shared with every housekeeper and training will be given.