Residential Fire Safety Guidelines Released By RICS

1st October 2019

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has released a clear and impartial fire safety guide to highlight the responsibilities of landlords and tenants in keeping properties safe, regardless of the type of home they live in.

Why was the guide released?

According to figures released by RICS, there are still a significant number of fire related injuries and fatalities each year in residential properties. The guide was released in response to recent devastating fires, and outlines clear, simple and easy-to-understand fire safety advice.

The RICS guide was created to spread awareness of good fire safety practices, and aims to assist in making homes as safe as possible by understanding risks, as well as ways to minimise and manage fire safety measures.

What does the guide cover?

The short, easy-to-follow guide covers houses, apartments, flats and maisonettes and was written with both landlords and tenants in mind.

It highlights the responsibilities of both the landlord and the home occupier when it comes to fire safety, and outlines the differences in each party’s duties.

The guide contains specific advice for owner occupied properties on fire detection, extinguishing and accessibility and special needs assistance.

For rented or shared accommodation, guidance includes landlord obligations with appliance, furniture and alarm compliance to inform where responsibility lies in these properties.

Some of the key fire safety precautions outlined in the guide include:

  • The importance of memorising fire escape routes
  • Safety advice for smokers
  • Safety measures to prevent fires caused by candles, electricity, circuit overloads and furniture
  • Guidance for multiple occupancy buildings that have a ‘stay put’ policy

Gary Strong, RICS Director of Practice Standards and Technical Guidance said, “Never has fire safety been in the public domain so much as it is now. With recent fires in residential property, there is an urgent need for the public, landlords and residents to be aware of what can cause fires and the measures they should take to stay safe. RICS is acting in the public interest in publishing this guide, which we hope will be of benefit widely.”

To download a copy of the fire safety guide, visit the RICS website.

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