An HMO is a House in Multiple Occupation; a property being shared by a minimum of three tenants that are not related to one another. All HMOs have to abide by the rules of the Housing Act 2004. The property needs to be properly managed and safe of course, and there are a number of fire safety requirements that HMOs need to meet.
Fire safety is defined as being one of the categories that is included as a hazard in the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. National statistics have demonstrated that fire is a massive cause of injuries and fatalities within residential premises. The assessment of the risk of fire is done whether a property is occupied by one family, or by different unrelated individuals.
The Housing Act of 2004 requires that all homes should be fitted with smoke detectors. However, it is unlikely that enforcement actions will be taken by local councils in order to improve fire safety, unless it appears that the occupiers are being placed at very serious risk, making it all the more crucial for the system to focus on the safety of residences such as HMOs, older converted properties, high rise flats and accommodation such as flats that exist above shops.
Occupiers or owners of homes that fall into the lower risk categories can seek advice from either the Fire and Rescue Authority or the council. The Fire and Rescue Service can arrange free smoke detectors and home fire safety visits for those concerned about fire safety procedures and fire risk management. Talk to us at Source Fire for further information.