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Fire & CO Safety in Holiday Accommodation: How important is it?

Written by:
David Richmond
Posted On:
13th June 2024
Category:
Blogs

We all look forward to the opportunity to get away from it all, planning our escape to a cosy holiday home for the weekend or a last-minute week away. Aside from the thought of sun-filled landscapes and warm hospitality, it’s easy to overlook the crucial aspect of fire safety. Ensuring adequate fire and carbon monoxide (CO) protection within holiday homes isn’t just a legal obligation; it’s a moral responsibility to safeguard the lives of your guests and their families.

Let’s explore why fire protection, particularly in accordance with British Standard 5839-6, is fundamental in these situations:

Firstly, holiday homes often host families or larger groups who may be unfamiliar with the property’s layout and safety measures. In such settings, clear and concise fire safety instructions, prominently displayed evacuation routes, and easily accessible firefighting equipment become lifelines in case of an emergency. BS 5839-6 provides comprehensive guidelines for the installation and maintenance of fire detection and alarm systems, ensuring timely detection of fire incidents, thus allowing occupants to evacuate safely.

Holiday homes often feature unique architectural designs or historical significance, which may pose challenges for traditional fire protection measures. BS 5839-6 acknowledges these nuances, offering tailored recommendations for the installation of fire detection and alarm systems suitable for various building structures. Whether it’s timber-framed chalets, thatched roof cottages, or stately homes, adherence to these standards ensures that fire safety measures seamlessly integrate with the property’s aesthetic and structural integrity.

Holiday homes may not always be individual properties or houses. They can be lodges or static caravans which form part of a complex or resort, and therefore may fall into the potential category of Short Term Lets. As a result, they must achieve a Grade D1, Category LD1 status.

Additionally, the seasonal nature of holiday homes means there may be prolonged periods of vacancy which means knowledge of the condition, integrity, and status of your fire and carbon monoxide alarms becomes even more important. Typically, occupants of holidays homes will not be familiar with the fire risks in the property or any escape routes regardless of how well highlighted they are.

 

What are the current BS 5839-6 requirements for short term holiday lets?

The design of a fire detection system is determined by considering the grade of fire or CO alarm, and the category of the system, which determines the level of coverage in the property.

Grade D1 – A system of one or more mains-powered detectors, each with a tamper-proof standby supply consisting of a battery or batteries. Where more than one detector is installed, they shall be interlinked by either wire or radio frequency.

Aico’s 3000 Series provides full property coverage from one range. These mains-powered alarms are supported by a tamper-proof 10-year lithium cell battery backup. In the event of a mains absence, these alarms will continue to detect fire and carbon monoxide. Aico’s Ei3000MRF SmartLINK Modules can interlink a system with ease, via radio frequency. With the module installed, when one alarm sounds, they all sound, increasing audibility throughout the property.

Category LD1 – A system incorporating detectors in all circulation areas that form part of the escape routes from the premises, and in all specified rooms or areas that present a high fire risk to occupants, including any kitchen and the principal habitable room.

Holiday homes are often found in remote or rural areas, where emergency response times may be prolonged. In such scenarios, the working integrity of alarms systems is key. Connected technology such as Aico’s HomeLINK Connected Home Solution, enables remote access to the condition and status of alarms, ensuring efficient detection is in place and working. So, if faults were to occur or an activation was to take place, the landlord can have full visibility of the issue remotely and take action quicker.

 

Relevant fire safety considerations in holiday homes is not a given. It should be considered equally as important as your own home. It requires a commitment to all of the potential safety concerns of guests for the duration of their stay. Being steered by the rigorous standards set out in BS 5839-6, holiday homeowners not only mitigate the risk of fire-related tragedies but also cultivate an environment of trust and reassurance for their guests.

For additional advice on fire safety measures in holiday homes visit the UK Government website at www.gov.uk

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