Fire risk certificate compulsory?

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    Fire risk certificate compulsory?

    Hi all,
    We have a holiday-let here which is let through an agency.
    They asked us recently if we had done the fire-risk-assessment certificate and said it needed to be in a prominent position in one of the cottage's rooms.
    They never said we would have to pay £200 to have that certificate done, plus, the company that would do it may not like some of the features in the cottage, which includes a wardrobe made out of curtains (a plank on top and curtains all around: looks very pretty and was done to save having to find a hardwood wardrobe which was difficult for the height of the sloping ceilling). I am not quite sure what to do about it, the cottage isn't bringing that much per month and this risk assessment thing somehow doesn't make much sense.
    I thought about fire-proofing the fabric-wardrobe with spray cans which are done for that use, but don't know if that would be seen as "safe enough" for a fire certificate thing. Plus, the problem with fire-retardant fabrics is one of its main compounds being formaldehyde, I do not want to expose our holiday guests who are coming for a quiet retreat in the middle of nowhere, to harmful chemicals just to obbey some money-making government scheme.

    Any enlightment on the subject if anyone knows about it would be very appreciated! Thank you in advance

    #2
    Or, does anyone know a company that would do one quite "cheap"?

    Comment


      #3
      change your agency or manage it yourself! I have not heard about this rule (I have a holiday let too) but it is possible it has not been advertised or made known very well. Ask the agency to point you to the legislation and then post it here please!
      Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

      Comment


        #4
        Always get three quotes for any work (or at least two more). This will tell you whether the £200 is excessive. I think it probably is for a holiday let. I paid £50 for a EPC that was as detailed as fire risk assessment would be (i.e. the same amount of work for the assessor/skill level involved).

        I would talk to the company you are considering using about the curtain. If they give you sensible advice how to reduce the risk at minimal cost, they are probably going to do the same if you pay them to carry out the risk assessment, and you can make the suggestion of remedial actions (as per the EPC) a condition of them getting the work.

        Comment


          #5
          A friend has told me that the fire assessment thing is free but has to be done in an official form and displayed. I also found this on the Gov website,
          http://www.communities.gov.uk/public...e/payingguests

          WHich also says that it is free?

          That friend had a venue fire-and-safetied for a public event and it didn't apparently cost anything, except for the fuss of it. They, being a public event, had to be very careful as it is easy to be closed by the council for an event which isn't certificated or whatever they do...

          Mmhh. More research to do. Can't really leave the agency, Islandgirl, as we are just beginning, not knowing quite how to advertise it and the advertissment I have paid for so far didn't bring any queries at all.
          I wish we could be independent... Maybe one day.

          Comment


            #6
            Don't know about holiday lets but our rental properties require a fire risk assessment. There is no certificate or official form and you can do one yourself. I think there are examples on the LACORS website. It doesn't have to be displayed but needs to be kept on the property (never really saw the point of that as it would go up in flames with everything else)

            Comment


              #7
              Hi greendrummers - thanks for the post - very interesting. If you do find out anything concrete pls let everyone know. I have been through the same scenario - advertising and getting no repsonse. We let via our own website and pay for one (very strategic!) ad per year. Agencies are desperate for your property - make yours work for you. Ask them all the questions and tell them they need to be more helpful or you will move! Good luck
              Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

              Comment


                #8
                Hi All

                This piece of advice relates to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which places the responsibility for fire safety on the "Responsible person" who is generally speaking the owner, landlord, managing agent or person responsible for the building, business, etc.

                The confusion exists in the wording that you have used - there is no certificate any more as this piece of legislation has replaced the old fire safety certificate that used to be awarded by the fire brigades. The responsible person is now expected to complete (or arrange to have completed) a fire risk assessment of the premises and indeed put into place any recommendations that may arise from the assessment.

                I am not sure of your location or indeed the size or type of premises to which you refer and this would determine the cost of employing an outside assessor. As cost has been seen as prohibitive to bringing in a consultant there is guidance available from a number of different sources regarding the completion of an assessment yourself. Try http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=7296 as a good place to start and also the local government website.

                If you need any more help please let me know as I have been completing fire risk assessments of a number of years and may be able to help further.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks all for your replies! I like the idea of not displaying it as it would go in flames if a fire was to go...!!

                  The property is a one bedroom cottage, upstairs is a wide open area, and downstairs has a little fire stove and in the kitchen an electric cooker, so no much risk of fire on the cooker unless they light a pan full of oil.
                  The cottage is called the Dortry and is easily found on search engines for those interested to see. It is only small, but has all the required fire-things, including a monoxyde alarm in the kitchen in case gas was to heavily leak from the boiler room which is outside and all gather into the kitchen's window.

                  I contacted the agency and all they wanted was for me to fill in a risk assessment form which I think means indeed I have to go round the property finding out what is at risk and writing it down and well...It seems it. No mention of curtains having to be fireproof.

                  The agency sent me a form for the fire assessment which is in fact the very same form I was sent by the Community-gov-org website :http://www.communities.gov.uk/public...e/payingguests !!! SO I now have 2 of those booklets which include a self-fill risk assessment thing form.

                  I am still not entirely sure but I think I can just about understand what do to next...

                  Can I say that for those who want to advertise, not to use Aspire, which is a free magazine distributed in supermarkets, the saleswoman sounded really positive and I paid £200+ for a coloured advert, with no replies so far when it has been in distribution a good month. OH well. Those things have to be tried! Those salespeople!!!
                  Kindred Spirit, the other place we have been advertising in, is being slow too,(cost £35) I placed a classified add in there for the last 2 issues and have had a couple of enquieries, so it may well pay for itself eventually.


                  Comment


                    #10
                    I get lots and lots of sales calls and say no to all advertising. I pick my own publication (just one!) and this brings results! A website is the best thing you can do to advertise as most people do look for holiday property online. Thank you for the fire info - self assessment so to speak! Does anyone know the law in Scotland??
                    Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yes, the Dortry has a website already, which comes up second on Google, which is lucky as the agency is so huge.
                      You are very lucky to have found the right publication for your advert IslandGirl, I am very glad that it works for you without agency!
                      Actually, our agency is very good, I found out today (as I hadn't read the contract properly) that we can take owner bookings as often as we want in the winterer months, and we can take 11 weeks for the higher season.
                      If we have gone over that 11 weeks allowance, they do charge a commission on whatever time we need, which really, makes me much happier and will give us plenty of time to go independent slowly, without having to take the giant leap of faith (or foolishness!!)

                      Though I wouldn't mind finding 1 publication that works, one day. :-)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        (I do recommend Hoeseason's for anyone thinking of renting a holiday cottage! Despite their high commission and having a yearly admin fee, they are excellent, and really kind, helpful and understanding on the phone.)

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