If you are in the property market then you may be the owner of an HMO property. These are different to standard buy to let properties in the sense that the regulations that come with them are different and can be more complicated than standard letting properties. Indeed, HMO fire safety regulations are totally different and can be expensive to implement. However, they are required by law so we thought we would take a look at what you need to know should you own or live in one of these properties.
HMO Fire Safety Overview
An HMO property will have more internal locks in a lot of cases and this can drastically affect how fire safety systems should be installed in the property. Indeed, tenants might not even speak to each other all that often but you don’t need to worry, HMO fire safety protocols tend to be nothing more than common sense and your local HMO officer will be there to help you should you require it. The key reason that fire safety in an HMO property is stricter is that there will be multiple tenants who will not necessarily be related.
As a result, rooms are regularly locked and this can have an impact on fire safety within the property. Locked rooms mean that some people may not have a clear exit and be unable to get out the property easily should they be required to. As a result, you need to ensure that the fire doors within the house or flat are up to scratch and that all exits are properly protected. Meeting these guidelines will ensure that your property is up to scratch and adhering to legislation.
What About Fire Alarms?
Of course, every property is different but there are a couple of rules to be aware of. Fire alarms must be installed in all bedrooms as well as the corridors and communal areas as well. Essentially, there has to fire alarms in key areas in the house to ensure that you are up to speed with regards to HMO fire safety. Ideally, having all of the smoke alarms respond should one go off would be a clever move, however, depending on the size of the HMO you may also need to consider upgrading to some sort of panel system.
It can be tricky trying to figure out the best setup for your own property which is why your local housing office is there to help. It is essential that you have ticked all the boxes when it comes to HMO fire safety as you could be fined should your properties not come up to scratch. If you have any questions regarding the points that we have raised in this article then you can drop us a message on Facebook or Twitter where we would be happy to give you more information.