02 January 2013
Changes to fire safety laws mean Islanders who own or lease buildings that have been converted to flats or bedsits may now need a fire certificate.
Revised Fire Precaution Regulations came into force on 1 January 2013. Under the revised laws, properties defined as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) will need to be inspected by Jersey Fire and Rescue Services to ensure they reach fire safety standards required for a fire certificate.
These types of premises generally house larger numbers than would be found in single private dwellings, there is a common means of entry / exit, the occupants may not know each other and may not be familiar with all parts of the building. Many of these building have inadequate or no fire precautions in place, which could lead to a high fire risk.
A building may be defined as a house in multiple occupation if any of the following apply:
- if the building, or part of a building, is owned or leased and has been converted to flats or bedsits
- if more than five people live in the building and one or more sleep below the ground floor or above the first floor
- if more than 40 people live in the building on any floor
- if more than one of the flats/bedsits share a toilet, bathroom or cooking facilities with another flat or bedsit
- if the building has been converted to a block of self-contained flats with less than two thirds of the flats being owner occupied.
Director of Safer Communities, Martyn Maguire, said: “The aim of this new legislation is to improve fire safety standards in houses in multiple occupation and protect the lives of people living in them from the dangers of fire.
“We want to ensure these properties have suitable and sufficient fire safety measures in place, and that they are to the same standard as those required in fire certificated buildings.”
If you think your building or property may be affected, please follow the link below for more information about HMOs or contact the Fire and Rescue Service.