Fire safety

For general advice about fire safety standards in HMOs read the Homestamp document in our advice library.

Fire Risk Assessments

All licensed HMOs must have a fire risk assessment.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires the ‘responsible person’, who could be the landlord/licence holder or an agent with full management control, to carry out and regularly review a fire risk assessment. This is enforced by the Fire and Rescue Authority.

The fire risk assessment must be ‘suitable and sufficient’, and assistance from an appropriately competent person should be sought as necessary to achieve this.

GOV.UK: information and guidance on completing a fire risk assessment
Coventry City Council's fire safety standards are available to view in the Homestamp document in our advice library.

West Midlands Fire Service has published an interactive website to help people spot fire-related dangers in the home.

We do not require you to submit a fire risk assessment as part of the licence application process; however, it is a legal requirement that you have one in place and we may require you to produce a copy at any point during the lifespan of your licence. Please note also that if you apply for a two- or five-year licence, you will be asked to certify that you have carried out a fire risk assessment. Our acceptance of your fire risk assessment/self-declaration does not protect you from any action required by the Fire and Rescue Authority. Should the Fire and Rescue Authority carry out an audit of your risk assessment, you could be asked to undertake further work or be subject to enforcement action.

Fire alarms and emergency lighting

Landlords are required to test and maintain fire alarm and emergency lighting systems in accordance with the British Standards.

  • Grade D fire alarm systems should be tested regularly. Testing and maintenance must be in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. It is highly recommended to carry out regular checks of the system by utilising the integral test button and maintain a record of these checks using the system logbook, such as the one contained within the “Fire, Gas and Electrical Safety Log Book for Landlords” provided by Coventry City Council. The system should always be checked if the occupier has been away or there has been an interruption in the power supply. A full system test and service must be completed annually by a competent person in line with BS5839. Landlords can self-certify this has been completed if they feel confident that they can carry out both the maintenance and testing in line with manufacturers' instructions.
  • Grade A fire alarm systems should be tested regularly. The system must be inspected and serviced at periods not exceeding six months in accordance with the recommendations of Clause 45 of BS 5839-1:2013. An inspection and servicing certificate of the type contained in H.6 of BS 5839-1:2013 should be issued by a suitably qualified and competent person.
  • Where emergency lighting is provided within the property, the emergency lighting systems should be tested regularly and a full system test and service must be completed annually by a competent person in line with BS5266. Landlords can self-certify this has been completed.

Logbooks and self-certification forms are available to download. Please note that by self-certifying an annual safety check, the landlord is taking full responsibility for the testing and maintenance of the system; making a false declaration can result in formal enforcement action being taken.

HMO licensing

Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street

Telephone: 024 7697 5467

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