September 13, 2023

Fire safety in holiday lets, need to know, from fire risk to managing compliance.

Fire regulations governing holiday lets are more becoming more stringent. The guidance comes into effect on October 1, 2023. If you operate small let accommodation, you should review our guidance and make sure that your premises are compliant.
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Fire safety in holiday lets, what you need to know.

The Fire Safety Order applies if anyone pays to stay in your premises or in a room within your premises, other than to live there permanently. The Fire Safety Order applies to all lets that are not let as a principal residence, even if you rent out a room in your premises only once.

The Fire Safety Order introduces a general duty of fire safety care to ensure that anyone staying in your premises is safe from fire.

Why do I need a fire risk assessment in my holiday let?

Fire risk assessment in holiday lets

The Fire Safety Order requires that you undertake a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment within your premises, to identify fire risks and take reasonable measures to ensure that people are safe from fire.

It is there to help prevent fires during the occupation of the holiday let and ensures that the correct procedures are followed if a fire does start. The risk assessment should make it clear about what to do if a fire is discovered during a stay, to keep people safe in an unfamiliar building with unfamiliar risks.

The risk assessment will suggest ways to mitigate the risks and ensure the correct safety features have been put in place to manage the risks identified, including older people, very young children and disabled people and how they will escape in the event of a fire.

What are the fire requirements for holiday lets?

If you are a person with responsibility for the premises, under fire safety legislation, you must:

  • carry out a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment of your premises and to record your findings
  • ensure that adequate fire safety measures, such as escape routes and fire alarm systems, are provided; and that steps are taken to prevent fire from occurring
  • maintain those fire safety measures in good condition and in effective working order
  • have adequate fire procedures to ensure employees, guests and visitors are aware of what to do in the event of fire, and that they understand the fire safety measures within the premises
  • give suitable instruction about fire procedures and fire safety measures to any staff you employ
  • co-operate with any other person who has duties under fire safety legislation to co-ordinate the fire safety measures for which each of you is responsible.
  • keep your fire risk assessment and fire safety measures under regular review.

Do I need fire doors in my holiday let?

Fire extinguishers in holiday lets

A significant item for the new guidance regarding fire risk in holidays lets requires holiday lets is for the requirement of fire doors. Fire doors are designed to resist the spread of fire for a set period of time, normally a minimum of 30 minutes. This allows time for people to leave the building via an escape route if other routes are compromised in the event of a fire.

The guidance of fire risk in holiday lets requires that every door that opens on to a fire escape route, i.e. the landing and hallway/stairwell, must now be a certified fire door or, at least a ‘nominal’ fire door. Do you need help with fire doors in holiday lets? Contact us.

Which fire alarm system for my holiday let?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires that premises are provided with suitable and sufficient means of detecting fire and giving warnings in the event of a fire. For small buildings, this may be inter-linked mains-powered smoke and heat alarms that both sound in the event of a fire.

The types of systems required will, however, depend on the level of the risk. – LD2 or LD3 –that comprise mains-operated smoke and heat alarms with battery back-up. LD2properties must have alarms in corridors and all rooms leading off the main escape route, while LD3 properties require them only in the corridor, landing, and hallway of the main escape route. Current legislation defines a ‘small’ property as being up to two storeys high (from the ground) with no floor more than 200 square metres in total.

Fire safety compliance in holiday lets

There are three core areas to fire safety law compliance:

1.    Conduct a fire risk assessment.

What is a fire risk assessment in a holiday let?

A fire risk assessment is an organized and methodical look at the premises, the activities carried on there and the likelihood that a fire could start andcause harm to those in and around the premises.

2.    Once highlighted, any areas where your guests may be at risk if a firebreaks out needs to be managed, the risk assessment will inform you of any measures you need to put in place.

Fire safety risks to be managed or considered in holiday lets?

  • 5-yearly EICR (electrical wiring and installations) having been completed and stored on site for inspection when required. You are legally required as part of your fire risk assessment to make sure that electrical equipment and appliances are kept in a good, safe condition for your guests to use.
  • PAT testing annually. Devices that get tested will have the date of the test written on a label, and this can be used to check when the last test was and when the next test is scheduled for. Equipment that is used more should be tested more frequently. This equipment is likely to suffer less damage than that used regularly.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors. It is a legal requirement to fit a carbon monoxide detector in any room where there is a solid fuel burner like a wood stove.
  • Log Burners Or Open Fires. Having a log burner or open fire in your holiday let is an extremely desirable feature. Such a feature comes with associated risks. Make sure the chimney is swept annually and in good working order.
  • Smoking. The majority of holiday let properties do not allow smoking, if this is the case a no smoking sign should be clearly displayed; however, if you do allow smoking in your property consider having a designated smoking area outside and provide fitted ashtrays.
  • Hard-wired fire detection such as smoke detectors or heat detectors. The types of systems required will, however, depend on the level of the risk.
  • Emergency lighting. Owners of larger holiday homes may want to consider a dedicated emergency lighting system. Consider a 3 in 1 night light, torch and emergency lighting.
  • Gas safety inspection and certification. You, as the landlord, are responsible for the safety of your guests and are required, by law, to hold a valid Gas Safety Certificate.
  • Fire action notices and plans. Fire actions notices advise of the procedures that must be followed in the event of a fire and typically comprise of a mix of mandatory and prohibitive commands.
  • Fire doors. The guidance of fire risk in holiday lets requires that every door that opens on to a fire escape route, i.e. the landing and hallway/stairwell, must now be a certified fire door or, at least a ‘nominal’ fire door.
  • Fire exits and signage. You must provide clear escape routes from your premises including wayfinding signage and signage for fire exit doors.
  • Fire Extinguishers. Make sure you have a fire blanket or extinguisher (if appropriate) readily accessible in your kitchen so that guests can use it in case of emergency.
  • Candles. Candles are one of the common causes of fires in the home. More than half of these candle related home fires started when a candle was placed too close to combustible material, such as a curtain or drape. Some of the most common combustible materials ignited by candles resulting in house fires are: Mattresses or bedding. Curtains or blinds.
Fire door inspection survey in holiday lets

3.    Keep the risks and measures under constant review.

What changes have occurred since carrying out the last fire risk, consider changes to roles and responsibilities of your employees, fire marshals and wardens including annual training, new technology or new work practices and new layouts or processes.

How can Summit Environmental Help you?

Fire Risk Assessments

Fire Door Inspection Surveys

Health and Safety Assessments

Asbestos Surveys

Legionella Risk Assessments

Where required we can also draw up a schedule of remedial works and recommend installation of any equipment that is required, from fire extinguishers, fire alarm checks, fire door inspection surveys and ensuring and maintaining full compliance.


The guidance for holiday lets is available here: Making your small paying guest accommodation safe from fire. It includes advice on fire risk assessments, fire alarms, escape routes, and fire prevention.


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