Fire safety for landlords

Top tip!
Test your alarms before the start of a new tenancy.

New legislation came into force on 1 October 2015 that requires all private landlords to fit smoke alarms in rented homes, and carbon monoxide alarms in properties where solid fuel is being burned. 

Further information is available in these downloads. Complete the form on the business safety homepage to make an enquiry.

Further information can be found at the website.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms: explanatory booklet for landlords

Enforcing Authority

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) has agreed with all four unitary authorities (LAs) who will be the 'lead' authority for particular types of property. This is to avoid duplication for landlords. However, this doesn't remove the legal powers each authority has - particularly if a serious situation arises. We will be informing each other about the action we have taken.

 AF&RS and the LA will act as lead authorities for different types of buildings:


  • Premises with mixed commercial and associated residential accommodation and sheltered housing –

"Associated" means there isn't independent access which is adequately fire separated, so where residential accommodation such as an HMO is completely separated from commercial accommodation the LA will take the lead in the HMO and AF&RS with the commercial accommodation.

  • Hostels - Where a kitchen is used to provide board (If food only is provided, the property will be treated as an HMO).
  • Premises where the LA are the landlords

The LA

  • Single dwellings
  • All Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO), whether or not subject to licensing
  • All self-contained flats whether purpose built or converted

However The Fire safety Order (FSO) applies to the common parts of properties  let as:

  • bedsits
  • shared houses on multiple tenancies (not if joint tenancy)
  • self contained flats
  • Properties with mixed use of bedsits/shared accommodation and flats.

Landlords will be informed by the LA if they believe that the FSO applies, this can be checked with AF&RS. Landlords are recommended to fully comply with the guidance and more information can be found here (opens in new window) .

Where the FSO applies and the fire safety provision specified by the LA is completed, the service will accept that fire safety measures have been improved; if the work is in accordance with the guidance above then a landlord can be confident that the measures needed under the Order have also been provided.

Landlords should be aware that the Service may contact them at a future date to audit the risk assessment and fire safety measures provided as a result.  The common areas will be assessed under the FSO and we will be assessing the protection to the escape routes. This may include; fire resisting doors to the accommodation and on escape routes (including self closers); fire separation of the escape route from any risk; blocked exits and/or escape routes; fire detection and emergency lighting (if required).