Fire safety: houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, enforcement of fire safety is carried out by the fire and rescue service and the local authority.

Fire and rescue services will enforce fire safety in communal areas with the local authority being responsible for fire safety in the accommodation units.

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The responsibility for complying with the Fire Safety Order falls upon the ‘responsible person’. This is the person or people having control of the premises. If there is more than one responsible person then all must take all reasonable steps to work with each other.

As the responsible person you will have to carry out a ‘fire risk assessment’. The level of detail should include those groups at higher risk such as disabled persons or those with special needs.

HM Government have produced a short guide which provides simple advice about risk assessments.