Fire Risk Assessments – Our Guide

Fire Risks in Your Holiday Cottage or Venue

As a holiday home owner, you have many health and safety responsibilities.

From Risk Assessments to Policy Statements, one of your main concerns is to reduce the fire risks for your guests.

All fire risks need to be identified; some can easily be removed, while others need to be reduced.

Fire is a potential risk in any property, and our guide will help you with the paperwork.

Law and Guidance

This article is for guidance only, and should give you a broad overview of this complex topic.

You will need to comply with relevant legislation for your property or properties.

It is a legal requirement to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment if you provide tourist accommodation in England.

If you are reading this and you live in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, then different rules apply.

If you live in Wales, click here.

If you live in Scotland, click here.

If you live in Northern Ireland, click here.

You can even be prosecuted if you don’t comply.

New Fire Safety Guidance, October 2023

From 1st October 2023, new fire safety guidance came into force, including:

  •     Ensuring guests have access to comprehensive information about fire safety in the building
  •     It will be easier for authorities to take action again anyone who is noncompliant
  •     Increased requirements to record and share safety information

Discover more here. 

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005

If you are the Responsible Person, then you’ll need to be aware of fire safety law, carry out and review a Risk Assessment and identify general fire precautions that need to be put in place and maintained

The full FSO is here.

And there is Government Guidance here.

What  or Who is the RP?

In this context, the RP is the Responsible Person.

This is a legal requirement if you own a holiday let or similar.

The RP must carry out a regular fire risk assessment.

They must tell staff/representatives about the risks identified.

They must put in place appropriate fire safety measures and maintain them.

They must plan for an emergency.


Do Your Own Fire Risk Assessment

… or if you are able, you can also outsource it to a fire risk assessor.

The local fire service may also inspect the assessment and of course it must be reviewed regularly.

You will also need to provide evidence that you carry out all checks and maintenance via your records.

Carrying Out Your Fire Risk Assessment

There are lots of things to consider and this article is designed to help point you in the right direction.

You must:

Identify the fire hazards.

Identify those people at risk.

Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.

Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training to your staff.

Review and update your fire risk assessment regularly.

Elements to Consider

Emergency routes and exits.

Fire detection and warning systems.

Firefighting equipment.

The removal or safe storage of dangerous substances.

An emergency fire evacuation plan.

The needs of vulnerable individuals, such as children, those with disabilities or the elderly.

Provision of information to employees and other people on the premises.

Staff fire safety training.

Find out more here.

How to Keep Guests Safe

There are numerous ways in which you can keep everyone safe.

The list below is a guide only, but should be helpful.

Put heat detectors in the kitchen.

Install carbon monoxide detectors.

Have interlinked, mains smoke alarms.

Install the correct fire extinguishers throughout the building.

Install fire blankets where needed.

Remember both extinguishers and blanket require regular checking.

Ensure furniture and soft furnishings meet British Standards.

Ensure chimneys and wood burners are maintained correct (see our informative blog about maintenance checklists).

Consider internal, self-closing fire doors.

Final exit doors should NOT need a key on the inside to open it.

Consider if candles are safe to use in your property.

Install night lights on staircases.

Consider rechargeable torches in bedroom.

Check all gas appliances, electrical items and emergency lighting systems.

Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors.

Provide information about how carbon monoxide alarms work.

Ensure fire extinguisher dials are correct.

Are fire exits clear and are fire doors checked?

Is the wiring okay in your holiday let? Is anything damaged? If so, remove or replace it.

Checks should be done between lets in case anything has happened during the guest’s previous stay.

Your completed Fire Risk Assessment should be put in a -easy-to-find place, such as in the welcome book or guest information file.

You can read our blog about maintenance checklists here.

Helpful Guides and ‘How To’s’

Most if not all appliances will come with instruction books or leaflets.

These should be stored in an obvious place and in a file so guests can find them.

Also your guests should have a copy of.your emergency fire escape plan; where your fire blankets and extinguishers are; where the fire exits are; they know the address and postcode (in case they need to ring the fire brigade); carbon monoxide advice; a copy of the fire risks.

Keeping Up With Your Fire Risk Assessment

As with all Risk Assessments, you need to keep it  up to date and record any actions that you’ve put in place.

You’ll also need to record when you test the alarms, check fire extinguishers etc.

All this information should also be available to you team members and staff if you have them.

You will also need to update your Risk Assessment if you add say a log burner or if anything happens.

There is Help Out there!

If this is all a bit overwhelming, don’t worry as there is help out there!

If you need a fire risk assessor, then here are some accredited assessor links:

You will also need to talk to your insurance broker for the correct amount of protection.

The Fire and Rescue Service

If you own a holiday let, then many local and regional fire and rescue service teams can help with your fire prevention scheme.

For the Vista Retreats location, our local service is North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service.

If you live in the North Yorkshire area, their website is very helpful.

Heritage Buildings

If your holiday let is a heritage building, then this will affect your Risk Assessment.

Old buildings, while full of character, can often have large void spaces in which a fire could take hold without anyone noticing.

If you own such a holiday let, find out more here.

I Don’t Know Where to Start!

Don’t panic as there are plenty of tools and helpful guides out there.

Visit Britain has produced some helpful templates, click here.

PASC also has lots of very helpful information here.

A Bit About Vista Retreats

At our luxury holiday let management company, we are dedicated to providing exceptional service to property owners and their guests.

Experience luxury like never before with our carefully curated holiday let portfolio in North Yorkshire.

Our stunning, sought-after locations provide dreamy, desirable escapes with a unique personal touch. Each holiday home boasts incredible scenery, seamlessly combined with guaranteed privacy, stunning interiors, and bespoke service, creating the ultimate luxurious private retreat.

Get in touch today.