Holiday Changeovers would like to inform all holiday let owners about the implementation of new fire safety regulations that came into force from 1st October 2023.

These regulations, applicable to holiday homes in England and Wales, encompass specific guidelines concerning fire doors, smoke alarms, and lighting.

Here is an overview of the essential changes, who they affect, and the necessary actions for compliance.

New Fire Safety Rules for Holiday Lets

The primary objective of these rules is to ensure that all holiday let owners, including those offering single-night room rentals, take the necessary precautions to make their properties fire-safe.

While it was already a legal requirement for holiday home owners to conduct a fire risk assessment, the new rules now mandate small holiday let businesses (those with fewer than five employees) to formally record their risk assessments. These records should be visibly displayed within the property, often included in the welcome pack.

For the smallest properties with simple layouts, owners can personally complete a fire risk assessment. However, larger or more complex properties should involve a professional in this process. More information on fire risk assessments is available on the government website.

Holiday let owners are required to ensure that if a fire disrupts internal lighting, there is adequate ‘borrowed lighting,’ such as streetlights, to guide guests. In case of a mains supply failure, owners can provide rechargeable torches.

Larger properties may necessitate more advanced automatic emergency lighting systems (refer to relevant guidance for details)

Escape routes from holiday homes should be equipped with fire doors that withstand burning for more than 30 minutes. Front doors of one and two bedroom apartments should also be self-closing fire doors.

For smaller holiday homes, fire doors must be checked every six months to ensure they remain effective.

Holiday let owners are now obligated to install linked, hard-wired smoke detectors in all bedrooms and living rooms. Additionally, heat detectors should be placed in kitchens.

Complex alarm and fire detection systems should undergo checks every six months, with property managers advised to test alarms between each set of guests.

Owners must provide fire safety equipment, including fire extinguishers and fire blankets. A competent person should conduct an annual check of this equipment, with weekly checks recommended to ensure it remains in good working order.

Additional Considerations for Holiday Let Landlords

Holiday let landlords should also be aware of ongoing responsibilities and any updates to regulations beyond the outlined changes. Staying informed and proactive in adhering to safety standards is crucial for ensuring the well-being of guests and compliance with legal requirements.