Have you considered what would happen if your holiday home became the victim of fire? Whilst we hope it won’t happen to us, there are more than 40,000 house fires across the UK each year. (That’s in excess of 100 a day). Therefore it’s vital that cottage owners are aware of the consequences a fire could have on their holiday home. Above all owners should take preventative measures. These should be outlined in your fire risk assessment. This will help ensue that the risks of one occurring are effectively minimised.
The law and fire regulations
When it comes to the law, all businesses, regardless of size, are required to comply with the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005. A key aspect of effective compliance is for you to undertake a fire risk assessment for your holiday home, which will identify any potential fire risks and the measures you need to put in place to control them.
Whilst only businesses that employ five or more staff are required to keep a written record of this assessment, it’s recommended that you keep a document outlining your own approach to fire safety in order to prove that you’ve fulfilled your legal requirements.
Creating a fire risk assessment
Many of us won’t have ever needed to create a risk assessment of any kind. So if you’re a new cottage owner or haven’t already got a fire risk assessment in place it can be difficult to know where to start. For this reason, VisitEngland has created a useful tool for you to create your own through their website.
To carry out your own fire risk assessment please click here: VisitBritain – Fire Risk Assessment Tool
Remember that this is only a template and should only be used in order to complete some of the core areas of your own fire risk assessment. Every cottage will have its own unique set of requirements. Do give careful consideration to your own holiday home and any potential risks to your property and to your guests.
Review your fire risk assessment
Your cottage together with potential fire risks can change over time. Therefore it’s important to emphasise that your fire risk assessment should be regularly reviewed. Ensure that any actions required within your assessment are carried out, where necessary by a qualified professional (for example Portable Appliance Testing), and that your document is updated accordingly.
We know that fire can have a devastating impact on any holiday home business. This is especially so if your holiday cottage were to become uninhabitable at a busy time of the year.
Insurance is there to help you through tough times. If a fire were to make your cottage uninhabitable you would not only face the potential bill to fix the issue, but also be left facing a loss of rental income.
For this reason, our own policy automatically covers cottage owners for up to two years’ loss of rental income. As standard, cover is included up to a sum of £75,000 (£37,500 per annum) for loss of rental income. Giving you as an owner peace of mind should your property become unavailable as the result of fire. Does your holiday home have an annual gross rental income in excess of £37,500 per annum (£75,000 over two years)? We can provide additional cover on request.
Further information inluding links to useful guidance and documents are available here – Fire Safety Law for Holiday Homeowners
Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how we can help and support your holiday home business call us on 01237 429444.
Please note that this article gives only an overview of Fire Risk Assessments for Holiday Lets and we suggest you take advice from a qualified professional before making any decisions in this area if you are not confident of using the above fire risk assessment tool.