Author Topic: Risk assessment for rented houses  (Read 303 times)

Offline alonso

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Risk assessment for rented houses
« on: July 10, 2020, 01:58:20 PM »
Hello all.

I rent out 2 houses to tenants via a letting organisation. Neither are hmo?s.

House 1 is a 2 bed 2 storey mid terrace with battery only smoke detectors on both floors in the corridor areas. There is a battery c.o. Alarm in the kitchen due to the boiler in the kitchen.

The second house is a 2 bed, 2 storey semi detached house with a mains and battery interlinked system of a smoke in each corridor and a heat in the kitchen. There are battery c.o. Detectors in the kitchen to cover the boiler and the sitting room downstairs To cover the wood stove.

1 - do i need a fire r.a. For both or either house? If so should the letting organisation do it? How often should it be reviewed if it is needed?

2 - the residents test the alarms weekly but how often should they be tested by a competent person? Can i, as A fire alarm engineer do it myself? (I am an employed person so cannot write a certificate of compliance)

Thanks for all and any help...

Offline AnthonyB

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Re: Risk assessment for rented houses
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2020, 06:07:39 PM »
Reply from the FIA:
"No you don't need a FRA as they are outside the scope of the FSO

From BS5839-6:
Other than in the case of sheltered housing scheme and dispersed telecare-enabled fire detection and fire alarm systems, this part of BS 5839 does not specifically recommend
that Grade C, Grade D and Grade F systems are maintained by a competent person, unless identified in the manufacturer?s instructions. If these systems are serviced by a
competent person, this should be carried out in accordance with Annex I.

and yes you can do it your self if you competent, and there is even certificate that you can fill out to give to your self"

From me:

Note that you are subject to The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 (assuming you are in England! In Scotland more stringent rules are in place related to minimum cover, Wales doesn't seem bothered) which require private rented sector landlords to have:

- at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their rental property which is used as living accommodation, and
- a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where solid fuel is used
- also the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

After the landlord?s test on the first day of the tenancy, tenants should take responsibility for their own safety and test all alarms regularly to make sure they are in working order. Testing monthly is generally considered an appropriate frequency for smoke alarms. If tenants find that their alarm(s) are not in working order during the tenancy, they are advised to arrange the replacement of the batteries or the alarm itself with the relevant landlord.

For each new tenancy landlords must check that the required alarms are in working order on the first day of the tenancy.

Don't forget the mandatory 5 yearly EICR that's just come in too.
The first day of the tenancy is the date stipulated in the tenancy agreement, even where the tenant decides to actually move into the property on a later date.

The intention of the regulations is to increase the safety of private sector tenants by ensuring that they have working alarms at the beginning of the tenancy.
Anthony Buck
Fire Safety Technical Lead at a BAFE SP205 accredited consultancy

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Offline colin todd

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Re: Risk assessment for rented houses
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2020, 11:11:03 PM »
Nice work, Tony, but tell him about good practice, as espoused in table 1 of BS 5839-6.
Colin Todd, C S Todd & Associates

Offline AnthonyB

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Re: Risk assessment for rented houses
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2020, 09:34:01 PM »
I assume you allude to the fact that whilst House 1's set up (Grade F, LD3) technically meets the The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 (which don't specify any minimum Grade) BS5839-6 suggests Grade D1 (mains & tamperproof battery) Category LD2 (circulation areas, kitchen, principle habitable room) is a more appropriate provision.

I seem to recall from reading between the lines in the consultation results at the time the lack of Grade/Category minimum specification thus allowing battery only alarms was to get the law through the Impact Assessment as ?4-?6 per point was far more appealing than three or four times that for the mains & battery kit (including wiring costs)
Anthony Buck
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Offline colin todd

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Re: Risk assessment for rented houses
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2020, 01:01:34 AM »
it is good for people to refer to BS 5839-6, which represents current thinking of good practice, not even best practice.

Who knows what goes through the tiny minds of politicians and the servants that work at their chimps tea party.
Colin Todd, C S Todd & Associates

Offline alonso

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Re: Risk assessment for rented houses
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2020, 02:07:38 PM »
Anthony - so it would be best for me to upgrade the battery only alarms in house 2 to mains and battery grade d1 alarms? Do they need to be interlinked?

Offline AnthonyB

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Re: Risk assessment for rented houses
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2020, 07:56:30 PM »
It would be preferable and in any case where more than one detector is present they should be interlinked.
Anthony Buck
Fire Safety Technical Lead at a BAFE SP205 accredited consultancy

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