Common fire safety standards for all HMOs
There are certain fire safety features that should be common
to all HMOs. These include:
- no unsafe electrical wiring;
- a basic fire warning system;
- an escape route, free from obstructions or materials that
- portable ladders or similar devices used as a means of
- good maintenance and repair of all means of escape and
- locks on exit doors which can be opened easily without
- fire extinguishers and fire blankets in shared kitchens;
- fire resistant furniture and furnishings.
If the HMO is three storeys or more, or is larger with a more
complex layout, then additional fire safety measures are required:
- more complex requirements for escape routes and fire warning
- short travel distances to means of escape;
- escape lighting depending on the exact layout and complexity
of the building;
- fire notices, where the escape route is not the normal
route of travel, or where there might be any doubt about
the location of the exit;
- safe surface finishes to walls and ceilings;
- a fire-resistant floor between any basement and ground
- any external fire escape must be protected from potential
fire and smoke.
Students in shared accommodation
he following advice is based on guidance for students
issued by the National Union of Students (NUS). However, it is
also relevant to anyone else living in shared accommodation.
In 1999, 225,000 students under the age of 25 entered UK higher
education institutions. Many of these young people are away
from home for the first time.
Students can choose from a range of accommodation. Those living
in a hall of residence or other college-provided accommodation
could reasonably expect to be living in a safe environment
because of existing controls on these types of occupancy. Only
the actions of the residents might compromise safety. The most
vulnerable students are those living in rented, shared accommodation.
The NUS reveals that this is 58% of students altogether, including
130,500 new students in 1999/2000. The number of new students
rises each year.
Students living in provided accommodation this year will almost
certainly be living in some form of shared accommodation next
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, in conjunction with
Liverpool Student Homes, has recently launched a Fire Safety
rating checklist initiative in an attempt to ensure that the
housing provided to the students of Liverpool is of an acceptable
standard in relation to fire safety.
Liverpool Student Homes (LSH) is an accommodation
service which deals specifically with the private sector in
student housing. Operating since March 1992 their aim is to
unify the Universities' accommodation offices, to increase
the choice and service to students and to attempt to improve
the quality of accommodation available. The bureau holds information
on around 3500 landlords and ladies and 10,000 students use
the service every year.
For more information on the services provided by LSH access
their website at: www.lsh.liv.ac.uk
For more information on the Fire Safety rating checklist please
click on the link below:
Fire Safety Rating for Student Accommodation
Published in association with Liverpool Student Homes.
[PDF Format] click on link to read
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Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has a high number of
students living in shared accommodation within the Merseyside
area and there are opportunities to work with the National
Union of Students and college and university accommodation
staff to provide input on fire safety.
For further information contact:
Speke & Garston. Community Fire Safety
Cartwrights Farm Road.
Tel: 0151 486 3982