Safety first

Richard Price, Director of Operations, NLA supports the Gas and Fire Door safety awareness week campaigns and would like to help spread the word of gas and fire safety.

Both the gas and the fire door safety week campaigns are upon us. It is a great time to promote the importance of providing a safe environment for tenants and the importance of safety in private rented accommodation cannot be under-stated.

Landlords must take their responsibility and duty of care to tenants seriously in order to avoid preventable injuries and fatalities caused by fire or gas in the home.

It is important to be aware of what you are legally required to do as well as what is expected of you.

Can you smell something?

When it comes to gas safety it is important that annual inspections of all gas appliances, including boilers, gas cookers, gas fires, pipework and flues are carried out only by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

The legal requirements around the installation of Carbon Monoxide alarms differ in different countries of the UK, but the NLA advice is simple: fit audible alarms in any property that has a gas supply. Suitable alarms can be found in the NLA online shop. Remember, you cannot smell or see Carbon Monoxide, it is known as “the silent killer”

Gas Safe Register has compiled a top tips list to stay gas safe, as well as an introduction video which covers the basics.

The NLA has also put together an informative video on gas safety and your responsibilities which we recommend all landlords watch.

Put wood in hole

When it comes to fire safety it is important that the residence has been assessed for potential risk. In keeping with the risk-based approach of the Housing Act 2004 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, landlords should (and for certain properties must) carry out or arrange for a fire risk assessment in order to identify what fire hazards exist, what the risks to occupants and visitors are, and the appropriate action to take to mitigate and control the risk of fire in their properties.

The NLA strongly recommends that all residential properties are fitted with fire detection and alarm systems and that an adequate means of escape is established in case of fire. Again specific requirements differ in different countries of the United Kingdom.

Wherever fire doors are required, we recommend that good quality certificated fire doors are fitted in order to keep a fire adequately contained and to minimise the risk to tenants and damage to the property.

We also recommend that landlords make their tenants aware of the importance of not obstructing or propping open fire doors for their own safety, especially in communal areas.

Our video informs landlords how to carry out a fire risk assessment and is essential viewing for landlords of all residential properties. If a landlord has larger HMOs this additional video will cover what to do.

Knowledge is power

The NLA library has a wealth of information which can guide anyone who isn’t sure what they need to do. The online library on the NLA website offers guidance to support landlords through the process.

Other useful resources:

NLA Library – Gas safety information

NLA Library – Fire safety information

Fire Door Safety Week

Gas Safety Week

NLA Property Insurance

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