There is new fire safety guidance from the Home Office – ‘Guide to making your small paying guest accommodation safe from fire’ (“The Guide”) – which comes into force on 1 October 2023.
The Fire Safety Order 2005 (FSO) has not fundamentally changed. As such, the new guidance is not a significant change from the existing guidance – Do You Have Paying Guests? But the new guidance takes account new technology, tightens some requirements, clarifies others, and helpfully it now makes suggestions as to what mitigation measures are appropriate in different circumstances.
There here are many comments on the web suggesting that because it is only “guidance”, you don’t need to follow it. The Guide has been published as an Article 50 document, and the Fire Safety Act 2021, states that failure to follow Article 50 guidance may be relied on [by Enforcing Authorities as] tending to establish a contravention of the duties contained within the Articles 8-22 [of the FSO]. So the contents of The Guide has less flexibility and more importance than the title may imply.
In our sector it is most likely that the owner of the holiday cottage will be the Responsible Person, and they have a duty to comply with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (As amended) (the FSO).
A copy of the guidance is available on the following link – https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1147723/A_guide_to_making_your_small_paying-guest-accommodation_safe_from_fire.pdf
We anticipate that many holiday cottages will require work to meet the requirements outlined in the new guidance document. October may seem a long way off, but we would suggest you start work on this as soon as you can.
The information contained in this page is based on the author’s interpretation of The Guide. This page is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or any other type of advice. You should always seek independent advice and consents for your own business as necessary.