Fire safety risk assessments for HMOs
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it is a legal requirement for the responsible person of a building to carry out a fire safety risk assessment where the building contains areas that may be accessible by members of the public or contractors.
In a block of self-contained flats this may include boiler rooms, lift shafts and common hallways which may be used as a place of work.
A fire safety risk assessment will identify any shortcomings and the required actions which the responsible person must then take into consideration.
It is an offence not to carry out a fire safety risk assessment and the responsible person may be prosecuted. This is enforced by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
You must have a valid fire safety risk assessment for 3 and 5 year HMO licences and you must be able to provide a copy of the assessment if asked.
Applicants for 3 and 5 year licences will be asked to make a declaration that:
- their property has a fire safety risk assessment that complies with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
- it is reviewed regularly
- and can be provided when asked
Download the Fire Safety Risk Assessment Declaration
More information about fire safety risk assessments
The following links give more information about carrying out a fire safety risk assessment and what the assessment needs to include:
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
Advice for fire safety in residential accommodation
LACORS (now Local Government Regulation) Housing Fire Safety Guidance
This document is widely adopted by councils and fire services and includes case studies which can be used to determine the required fire safety provisions for single household dwellings, shared houses, bedsits and buildings converted into self-contained flats.
Download the LACORs Fire safety guidance
Guide to Fire Safety Risk Assessment in Sleeping Accommodation
This document contains detailed information on how to conduct a fire safety risk assessment for properties containing sleeping accommodation such as HMOs.
Download the Fire safety risk assessment: sleeping accommodation
This guide includes a summary of the 5 steps you need to consider when carrying out a fire safety risk assessment.
Step 1 - Identify fire hazards
- sources of ignition
- sources of fuel
- sources of oxygen
Step 2 - Identify people at risk
- people in and around the premises
- people most at risk
Step 3 - Evaluate, remove, reduce and protect from risk
- evaluate the risk of a fire occurring
- evaluate the risk to people from fire
- remove or reduce fire hazards
- remove or reduce the risks to people
- detection and warning
- escape routes
- signs and notices
Step 4 - Record, plan, inform, instruct and train
- record significant findings and action taken
- prepare an emergency plan
- inform and instruct relevant people; co-operate and co-ordinate with others
- provide training
Step 5 - Review
- keep assessment under review
- revise where necessary
Institute of Fire Engineers (IFE)
You can appoint an external fire risk assessor to carry out the fire safety risk assessment. Consult the IFE for a register of fire risk assessors and for guidance on choosing a competent person.
View the Fire Risk Assessors Register
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