Fire safety when you rent your home
Your landlord must provide interlinked fire and smoke alarms. If they refuse, you can report them to environmental health or apply to a tribunal.
Your landlord's fire safety responsibilities
Fire and smoke alarms
All homes must have:
one smoke alarm in the living room or room you use most
one smoke alarm in every hallway or landing
one heat alarm in the kitchen
Each alarm should be installed on the ceiling and interlinked. Interlinked means if one goes off, they all go off.
If you have a fuel-burning appliance, like a boiler or fire, there must be a carbon monoxide detector in that room. It does not need to be interlinked.
Your landlord is responsible for providing and maintaining the alarms and detectors.
Fire resistant furniture
All furniture your landlord provides must be fire resistant. It should have a fire safety label to show this.
If there’s no fire safety label, your landlord should replace the item of furniture.
Fire safety in an HMO (house of multiple occupation)
An HMO is shared by 3 or more people who are members of 3 or more families.
As well as fire alarms, smoke alarms and fire safe furniture, an HMO must have:
a fire escape route
fire-resistant doors that lead to the escape route
fire extinguishers and fire blankets
It’s your landlord’s responsibility to provide and maintain these.
There must be at least one fire extinguisher on each floor, and a fire blanket in every shared kitchen. It’s up to your landlord to check these regularly. Make sure you know how to use them in case of an emergency.
If you think your home is not fire safe
Write to your landlord and ask them to put it right.
If they refuse, you can report it to environmental health.
If you rent from a private landlord or letting agent, you can also apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber).
Report it to environmental health
Contact the council’s environmental health team and tell them about the fire hazards in your home.
As fire hazards are a danger to your health, the council can order your landlord to put it right.
If you rent from the council, environmental health will usually only get involved if:
you've already been through the council's official complaints procedure
the problem is affecting your health or making your home unfit for you to live in
Apply to the tribunal if you rent privately
If your home does not have suitable smoke, fire and carbon monoxide alarms, the tribunal can order your landlord to install them.
Your rights if there's been a fire in your home
Your landlord is responsible for doing repairs to your home after a fire.
Staying somewhere else during repairs
If you cannot live in your home after a fire, ask your landlord to give you somewhere temporary to stay. It should be covered by their insurance.
If they do not give you somewhere else to stay, make a homeless application to the council. They can give you somewhere temporary to live until your home is safe to move back into.
The council can also help you find somewhere permanent to live if you need to move out.
Getting compensation after a fire
If the fire was someone’s fault, you can take legal action for injuries or damaged belongings.
Get legal advice from a solicitor if you want to claim compensation.
Keeping your home fire safe
To reduce the risk of fire in your home:
unplug electrical appliances that are not in use
do not overload electrical adaptors with too many plugs
do not cover heaters with towels or laundry
do not smoke in bed
Plan a fire escape route
Make sure everyone in your home knows the escape route if there's a fire. Always keep the escape route clear.
Make sure any house keys are easily found and that everyone knows where they are.
Last updated: 19 July 2023