The ‘Firemark’ Programme was developed by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and is a simple but effective method of providing landlords, who fall outside of the Fire Safety Order, with a basic knowledge of fire risk assessments. It will also assist them in providing fire safe accommodation for their tenants, whilst protecting their investment.
The work in this area followed a tragic fire in a rented property where no smoke alarms had been installed. The Right Honourable Adrian Sanders MP presented a Private Members Bill to Parliament, The Fire Safety (Protection of Tenants) Bill, but unfortunately this Bill was not enacted.
Given the nature of risk and the vulnerability of many tenants in private rented accommodation, the scheme has been gifted to all UK Fire and Rescue Services for their use to reduce risk through non-commercial activity.
Being a landlord brings a responsibility to ensure that tenants are safe and ‘Firemark’ provides the skills and knowledge for all landlords to take basic steps to achieve this for all their properties.
At present, although a fire risk assessment for any rented dwelling would support the fitting of smoke alarms, there is no legislation to require this. Evidence demonstrates that fires in private rented accommodation are increasing compared to social rented properties where fires have decreased.
‘Firemark’ helps to give landlords an understanding of the risks and their responsibilities with regard to fire safety. A key element is an interactive walk through of a virtual house where participants complete a basic risk assessment by identifying hazards and risks, identifying and witnessing the consequences and implementing remedial action. Participants are guided through this process with clear use of a range of realistic examples. Tenants can complete the walk through and hazard identification themselves and anyone wishing to learn how to make their home safer could use this package.
Can you spot the hazards in the virtual premises? Click here to access the interactive risk assessment
|Firemark Education has launched an interactive fire-safety app aimed at landlords and tenants. Click here to find out more|