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New Fire Safety Regulations for Holiday Homes in England and Wales


Accommodation providers offering sleeping facilities to paying guests in Wales are now subject to important updates in fire safety regulations. Starting from the 1st of October 2023, comprehensive fire risk assessments, covering all aspects of fire safety, have become a legal requirement. This new guidance is intended to ensure the safety of guests and has been developed after a thorough review of best practices in the industry. The regulations are grounded in The Fire Safety Order, which necessitates accommodation providers to undertake suitable and sufficient fire risk assessments within their premises.


Understanding the Fire Safety Order

The Fire Safety Order, officially known as the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, has long been in place to govern fire safety standards in non-domestic premises. This legislation is designed to protect the lives and well-being of people by ensuring that effective fire safety measures are in place. The most recent update, as of October 1, 2023, pertains to:

  • single premises on the ground floor, or ground and first floor, providing sleeping accommodation for a maximum of 10 persons, with no more than four bedrooms on the first floor, such as houses, cottages, and chalets

  • individual flats (whether within a purpose-built block of flats or a house that has been converted into flats)

  • smaller types of outdoor accommodation, which fall under the same duties such as holiday caravans, camping and glamping pods, bothies, lodges, shepherds’ huts, tents, tree houses and yurts.


The Core Requirement

The central requirement of the new fire safety regulations is the need for accommodation providers to conduct a full-length, written fire risk assessment that comprehensively covers all aspects of fire safety within their premises. The objective is to identify potential fire risks and take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of guests in the event of a fire.


Comprehensive Fire Risk Assessments

A comprehensive fire risk assessment should include the following key elements:

  1. Identification of Fire Hazards: Evaluate and identify any potential sources of fire within your premises. This includes electrical appliances, heating systems, and flammable materials.

  2. Evaluation of Fire Risks: Assess the likelihood of a fire occurring and the potential consequences if it does. Factors like occupancy, layout, and the presence of flammable materials should be considered.

  3. Means of Escape: Examine the means of escape for guests, ensuring that they are clearly marked and easily accessible. Check the condition of fire doors, emergency lighting, and fire exit routes.

  4. Fire Safety Equipment: Inspect and maintain fire safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, fire alarms, and fire detection systems, to ensure they are in good working order.

  5. Fire Safety Training: Ensure that your staff are trained in fire safety procedures, evacuation plans, and the use of fire safety equipment.

  6. Record Keeping: Maintain records of your fire risk assessments and any actions taken to mitigate identified risks. This documentation is essential for compliance and may be required by authorities.


Link to Guidance Documents

Accommodation providers looking for detailed information on how to comply with these new regulations can refer to the guidance documents provided by the government. The official guidance documents can be found on the Gov.Wales website. These documents offer comprehensive instructions and best practices for ensuring the safety of guests through fire risk assessments and safety measures.


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