Did you know that people who live in rented or shared accommodation are seven times more likely to have a fire in their property? Given this, it is incredibly important that you take precautions to ensure that you have a fire-safe tenancy.
We have put together this guide for you to follow to ensure that the tenancy is conducted in a fire-safe manner. If you have any queries about fire safety, contact your Property Manager or call Thornley Groves at 0161 448 0090 - we will be happy to help.
ü You are responsible for ensuring that the fire alarm fitted in the property works. This includes testing the batteries every week and replacing them as necessary. You should never remove the batteries – if batteries are removed from smoke alarms, the risk of death from fire is greatly increased.
ü Be careful with electrics – wherever possible, avoid overloading sockets. Keep to one plug per socket.
ü Be aware that extension leads or adaptors have limits to how many amps that they can take, and be careful not to overload them.
ü Use a proper adaptor bought from a reputable retailer when using non-UK electrical appliances. Never put a two-prong plug into a three-prong socket!
ü Don’t use electric heaters to dry clothes – clothes should be kept at a safe distance away to avoid them catching fire. Electric heaters should always be turned off and unplugged when you are not in the room.
ü Don’t attempt to fix faulty electrics yourself. Contact the Repairs Team if you are worried about the electrics in your property.
ü Make sure any cigarettes have been properly extinguished when you have finished with them, being extra careful if you have been drinking alcohol or are using medication that might make you drowsy.
ü Avoid placing candles and tea lights near materials that will easily catch fire, such as curtains. Candles cause three fires per day, so make sure to extinguish them properly!
ü Plan an escape route and make sure that everyone in the property knows how to escape.
ü Establish where the fire exits and alarm are, especially if you live in a large building.
ü Count how many doors you might need to go through to escape – it can be hard to see in smoke, and you might become confused about where you are.
ü Keep all exits and communal areas clear, especially of large items such as boxes or bicycles.
ü Keep fire doors closed. They help to slow the spread of fire and will give you extra time to get out.
ü Do not store combustible materials around the consumer unit (fuse box).
ü Keep door and window keys where everyone can find them, so that you aren’t rummaging around for them in case of an emergency.
ü Don’t use the fire equipment in the property (such as fire extinguishers or fire blankets) outside of an emergency – your Landlord will charge you for the unauthorized use and you may need these in the future!
- Check detectors and alarms regularly.
- Replacing the batteries is the Tenant’s responsibility. Commonly a 9V battery:
How to identify your smoke detector
Smoke detectors are housed in plastic enclosures, typically shaped like a disk about 15cm in diameter and 2.5cm thick, but shape and size vary. There should be at least one smoke detector on each floor of your rented property.
How to check your smoke alarm
Press the indented button that (will often) has ‘test’ written on it.
Some systems will have a single unit that requires a key code to be entered to test the alarms throughout the property. The key code is often written on the unit in indelible ink.
Why do smoke detector batteries need to be in order?
Domestic smoke detectors range from individual battery-powered units, to several interlinked mains-powered units with battery backup. In an interlinked system, if any unit detects smoke, all units will be triggered even in the absence of electricity. The reason you need to ensure your smoke detector batteries are in working order is so that if the mains electric does cut out, the smoke detectors will still be in working order.
How to tell if your smoke detector batteries are in order
If the smoke detector batteries are low on power, the smoke detector will often produce a warning beep at regular intervals indicating that the batteries require changing. Never alter the operation of or disable the smoke alarms in your property. Replacing the batteries is the Tenant’s responsibility.
How to change your smoke detector’s batteries
1) Check if the smoke detector needs removing from its mounting to access the battery compartment. Some have accessible compartments and are fully attached to the ceiling.
2) Remove the smoke detector from its ceiling mount (if necessary). Different detectors will have different methods for removal. Most will be slide, twist, or pull from the mounting.
3) Open the battery compartment - The location of this cover will vary from model to model, and some may be secured with a screw or other fastening. Most coverings will slide off and away from the smoke detector's body. Once open, you can remove the old battery or batteries.
4) Check which battery type is required. Most will be a 9v battery or AA
5) Replace the batteries. Make sure you install the new batteries correctly. Check that the negative and positive connections are matching the labels on the smoke detector.
6) Close the battery cover.
7) Test the batteries before replacing the smoke detector by pressing the test button. If successful the alarm will sound.
8) Re-affix the smoke detector to the mount.
If in doubt, or if you have any concerns or questions, please contact us.