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Thumbturn Lock

Thumbturn Lock Why consider thumbturn locks for your holiday home exit doors? Have you had that frustrating moment when you get to the door and can’t find your keys to get out? It can be annoying for a few minutes whilst you locate them. However imagine if this were to happen in the case of an emergency such as a fire. The consequences could be serious and even potentially fatal.

Now consider you’re on holiday, you don’t know the layout of the property as well as your own home. Chances are you and your belongings are all in a state of flux as you relax and unwind. Afterall you are on a well earned holiday. The chances of you knowing where your keys are or even where to look for them are diminished. The consequences of not finding your keys can be very significant. Especially so should you need to leave your holiday home in an emergency. This is where thumbturn locks come into their own!

Keeping your guests safe should an emergency happen

As a holiday homeowner the safety of your guests will be paramount to the service you offer them; you want them to have a great time and you want them to have a safe time.

The scenario we’ve painted may be one you think will never happen to your own guests and it’s certainly one we hope will never happen, but statistics show that fires or other emergencies can; in the past year there’s been nearly 700,000 call outs of fire brigades across the country, which is a staggering 1,900 every day.  261 people died over that period from fire related incidents.

Making it easier for your guests to escape with thumbturn locks

When escaping an emergency such as a fire in your holiday home speed is key. One way you can enable this is by fitting thumbturn locks on final exit doors. On the exterior of the door entry is still gained via a key, but on the inside the door can be quickly and easily unlocked with the turn of a knob.

This ultimately means you only need to use the key when leaving (to lock it) and entering (to unlock it) your property and is a key reason the device is supported and recommended by the emergency services. Considering appropriate means of easy escape, together with raising the alarm is a fundamental part of of any holiday home fire risk assessment.

Can thumbturn locks be fitted retrospectively?

The good news with these locks is that they can be easily be retro-fitted to your existing UPVC or composite doors in a matter of minutes. Speak to a locksmith for guidance on solutions for other types of doors. Remember that these locks are still going to secure your holiday home so we always recommend you use professional tradespeople to ensure that an appropriate solution is implemented.

If you would like to find a qualified locksmith in your area then please click on this link:

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.

 

fire alarm

fire alarm40,000 homes across the UK (more than 100 per day) fall victim to fire. The consequences of a fire can be severe or even fatal. This is especially true if a fire alarm system is not installed.

When it comes to our own homes we’ll often be familiar with the quickest or most appropriate exit; we’ll know where the nearest fire extinguisher is or the safest way to deal with emergencies.

Now imagine if you were in a property you’re unfamiliar with. Perhaps the fire is at night and smoke has filled the halls. You’re not sure of the way out, or you’re unable to find the landing light switch.

A frightening prospect to say the least, but one that any guest could be presented with should a fire occur. As a holiday cottage owner it’s your responsibility to make sure that guests are kept safe. Whilst you’ll not be able to lead them from a burning building, you can take steps to reduce the risk. Such as that of a fire occurring and increase the chances of everyone exiting the property safely by early detection.

What are your fire safety legal obligations as a holiday homeowner?

Fire Safety Law (known as Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) was introduced in 2006 and makes holiday homeowners responsible for taking measures to protect guests from the risks of fire and applies to all tourism businesses that accept payment for guests to stay in their property.

Under this legal obligation, if you haven’t already you will need to:

  1. Conduct a fire risk assessment
  2. Improve your fire safety measures in accordance with any issues highlighted in your assessment.
  3. Keep the risks and measures under review

Do you need a fire alarm system in your holiday home?

The simple answer is yes, as early detection provided by a fire alarm system is the most effective way to maximising the chances of guests being kept safe, and minimising any potential damage to your holiday home.

The exact number and location of the detectors will depend largely on the layout of your property, but they should always include staircases, corridors and bedrooms as an absolute minimum.

Smaller holiday letting properties and fire safety

If your property is small, which in these terms generally refers to a cottage that has no more than two storeys, a couple of guest bedrooms and a short travel distance to a safe place outside, having a system of connected detectors with a 10-year battery life should suffice. This is known as a Grade F LD2
system.

Most detectors will make some sort of bleeping sound when batteries are running low, however in addition be sure to check them on a regular basis and perhaps consider making this part of your change over checklist.

Larger holiday letting properties and fire safety

If your property is larger, perhaps similar to the size of a standard family home, you should be looking at an automatic fire detection system consisting of interconnected detectors that will run off of the mains electricity, with a battery back-up should that fail. This is known as a Grade D LD2 system designed for domestic premises.

With both of these systems it is important to emphasise the interconnectivity of the detectors. This is especially relevant to ensure that the alarm is sounded and heard in all areas of your cottage, not just the one closest to the smoke.

A heat detector in the kitchen should be linked to the rest of the Grade D or Grade F system.

More detailed information on complying with the fire safety law and the installation of fire alarms in holiday letting properties can be found here:

Remain vigilant

No matter the size your property, however small maintain and test your fire alarm system. Keep a record of the last time your fire alarm was tested. Smoke detectors are reported to cut the risk of death in half should a severe fire break out – your vigilance can make a real difference.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, call us on 01237 429444.

Please note this article only gives an overview of fire alarm systems for holiday homeowners hence we suggest you take advice from a qualified fire safety professional before making any decisions in this area.  

fire risk assessment

fire risk assessmentHave 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.

Your insurance

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.

Quality in your holiday home

Quality in your holiday homeAs a holiday homeowner delivering quality in your holiday home needs to be at the heart of everything you do. It will make people want to stay with you, and also keep them coming back.

In order to deliver quality in your holiday home you need to be continually committed to it; as Aristotle once said ‘quality is not an act, it’s a habit’.

So what should that commitment really look like and what should it involve?

We take a look at just a few areas where you should ensure your commitment to quality never wavers…

Holiday Home Maintenance checks

Over the years more and more electrical items have been added to the average home and this is no different in holiday letting properties.

So how do you ensure they are all safe for your visitors to use, and that their quality is uncompromised? Particularly if you live a good distance from your holiday home?

You have a legal obligation to make sure that any electrical appliance with the potential to cause injury is kept in a safe condition for visitors to use.

Whilst there is no stated legal requirement on the frequency of checks it is advised that you take a proactive approach to ensuring the appliances in your holiday home are in full and safe working order. For example inspecting appliances for obvious signs of wear and tear such as frayed electrical leads during each changeover is good practice.

Remember that not all faults will be visible; consider using an approved contractor for annual PAT testing and ensure all work is completed to the highest of standards.

You can read more about this here:

The quality of those appliances

Many of us will have at some time muttered the words “you get what you pay for!” or “buy cheap buy twice”.

Whilst it can be tempting to cut back on the quality of the appliances in your holiday home to reduce costs, give some consideration as to what this does to the overall quality experience this provides your guests.

Also consider how regularly you update and replace the items within your holiday home; having a cyclical plan for when items are to be updated can ensure you’re always on top of quality upgrades, whilst also spreading potential costs evenly across the year (which can also be advantageous from a tax perspective). Quality assessors be they from the various tourist board affiliated schemes or from your holiday letting agent will give their highest ratings to letting properties that are fitted out to the best standards.

A tidy holiday home is a happy holiday home

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so are you making the right one? With visitor expectations, experience and marketplace knowledge growing year on year it is becoming increasingly important that the cleanliness of your holiday home matches the expectation of your latest guests, making cleaning and housekeeping a critical factor in continually delivering quality.

Some letting agents will manage this process for you by using an inhouse housekeeping team, others will introduce you to proven and reliable housekeepers or holiday letting management companies. These options can be particularly advantageous as they will take on the responsibility of quality control, and the other factors that could become time consuming and expensive, such as the hiring and organisation of staff.

If you are employing housekeepers directly ensure that you take up previous references, and also develop a comprehensive list of duties that need to be completed in order to ready your holiday home for changeover. This way nothing will be missed or left to chance. Also ensure that your holiday home insurance policy includes employers liability cover which is required by law.

Finding the right suppliers

Whether it’s a lick of paint or a refresh to the décor of your holiday home, it’s likely that in your search for continued quality, changes will need to be made in order to keep it looking as fresh as you want it to.

When it comes to larger work being carried out on your holiday home it’s vital you use a quality builder. The Federation of National Builders (fmb.org.uk) offers a comprehensive list of approved builders, or alternatively discuss with your letting agent to find if they have any locally approved suppliers.

Keeping visitors safe

It won’t always be the first thing you may think about when it comes to discussing quality in your holiday home, but a safe cottage is a quality cottage. Whether you’re installing a wood burner or new gas cooker, ensure you use specialists who carry out all work to the legal standard.

Also be aware that since last March, the Government made it compulsory for all landlords including holiday homeowners who let their properties as a long let during the low season to have working carbon monoxide and smoke alarms installed in their properties. This is also widely becoming regarded as best practice for all holiday letting properties.

You can read more about carbon monoxide and fire safety here:

Quality assessment

Bodies such as VisitEngland, VisitWales, VisitScotland and the AA have rigorous schemes for self-catering accommodation. Gaining recognition for your accommodation in this way is one of the most effective ways of proving you are committed to quality, and potential bookers will immediately understand the quality you provide when they see your star rating.

If you’re delivery quality in your holiday home and currently looking to apply for one of these schemes, or looking to increase the star rating of your property, please take a look at our blog post here:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Holiday Letting Guest Safety

Holiday Letting Guest SafetyAs a holiday homeowner there will be plenty for you to think about; how are bookings looking? Which letting agent do you use? Is the cottage in need of repairs and when does the next tax return need to be submitted by?

With such a long list, one thing you’ll need to keep at the very top is holiday letting guest safety. Your commitment to providing your guests with a stay that is not only enjoyable, but also safe is paramount.

Staying up to date with latest legislation changes set by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is essential for anyone in the industry in order to protect themselves and their guests.

We’ve highlighted some of the key areas of holiday letting guest safety you need to be considering that will help you understand your obligations.

Gas safety – what do you need to do?

There have been more than 200 reported gas safety incidents in the UK over the past year, with 40 people tragically losing their lives as the result of the poisonous, odourless and silent killer that is carbon monoxide.

The consequences of getting gas safety wrong can be loss of life so it’s essential you’re doing the following:

  • You are now legally required to have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms fitted within your holiday home. These should be installed in rooms in which there are gas boilers, fires or any fuel burning appliance or open fire.
  • Your gas boiler and any other gas appliances must, by law, be serviced and have a gas safety check carried out by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer every year.

If you are a letting agent you should obtain Gas Safe Check certificate from the holiday homeowner annually to ensure this has been carried out and that the property is safe for guests. For further information on gas safety read our blog post – Holiday Home Gas Safety

Up to date Gas Safety Check Certificate(s) or a copy should be kept in the holiday home’s Welcome Folder Information Pack to give guests peace of mind.

Preventing fire – what do you need to do?

Fire Safety Law (known as Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) was introduced in 2006 and makes holiday homeowners responsible for taking measures to protect guests from the risks of fire.

  • As a holiday homeowner you are required to conduct a fire risk assessment, improve fires safety measures as a result of any issues highlighted in the assessment, and keep the risks and measures under review. For more information on how to conduct a fire risk assessment please read our blog – Fire Safety Law for Holiday Letting
  • Despite 88% of fires being accidental, it is vital that you remain vigilant in reducing any potential risks in your holiday home and this should extend to your furniture. Regulations, whilst largely focussed on manufacturers, now extends to the ‘supplier of furniture acting in the course of business’, which of course applies to the owner of the holiday home.  For full information on the requirements you need to meet please read our blog post –  Fire Safety of Furniture and Furnishings in your Holiday Home

Electrical equipment

Over the years our homes and cottages have become awash with electrical appliances and devices. They bring with them convenience, but also an on-going maintenance task. So what do you need to do in terms of checking and replacing your appliances?

  • You have a legal obligation to ensure that any electrical appliance in your holiday home with the potential to cause injury is kept in a safe condition for your visitors to use.
  • Conduct regular visual checks of your appliances, or if you live a good distance from your holiday home, ensure someone is given responsibility for this task.
  • Remember that not all faults will be visible. Whilst there is no legal requirement for you to undertake Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), it is good practice and will help to demonstrate a general duty of care if these checks are carried out in conjunction with regular visual checks.
  • If a visitor reports a potential fault with an electrical appliance ensure it is removed from the holiday home until such time that it can be examined by a professional, or replaced as required.

You may also find the following posts for holiday home owners of interest:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Please note that this article on holiday letting guest safety is only intended as an overview of what you need to be doing in each of these areas.  For further information please contact the relevant authority and read up on all procedures and requirements.

 

Fire Safety Law for Holiday Letting

Fire Safety Law for Holiday LettingThere are many different ways in which a fire could start in your holiday home. Having an understanding of the risks that fire poses to your property and your guests is vital to ensuring a safe stay in your cottage and complying with Fire Safety Law for Holiday Letting.

Complying with Fire Safety Law for Holiday Letting and completing a fire risk assessment

What is Fire Safety Law?

Fire Safety Law (known as Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) was introduced in 2006 and makes holiday homeowners responsible for taking measures to protect guests from the risks of fire.

Does it apply to you?

Fire Safety Law will apply to all tourism accommodation providers including holiday homeowners; if anyone pays to stay in your property, other than to live as a permanent home, you will need to comply.

What do you need to do?

There are three core areas to Fire Safety Law compliance:

  1. Conduct a fire risk assessment
  2. Improve your fire safety measures as a result of issues highlighted in the assessment
  3. Keep the risks and measures under review

How do you conduct a fire risk assessment?

A fire risk assessment is a thorough review of the risks of fire within your holiday home, the people that will be visiting your property and the measures you need to put in place to keep them as safe as possible.

It should broadly incorporate five parts:

  1. What are the fire hazards in your holiday home?

This should highlight any area of your holiday home in which a fire could begin. The most common causes of fire in holiday homes include kitchens and cooking, electrical appliances, candles, smoking and chimneys.

Our example:

If you have candles in your holiday home the naked flame from these could be a potential fire risk.

  1. Who is at risk?

Consider who is at risk as a result of each potential hazard; do you have young families staying in your holiday home? Older guests? Disabled guests?

Think carefully about the specific risks they may face.

Our example:

Candles are of particular risk to young children who could knock them over or be tempted to play with the flame.

  1. What is your plan to keep people safe?

Having considered the potential hazard and which of your visitors is at risk, how are you going to make sure they stay safe? What can you put in place to either mitigate or minimise the risk to your guest?

Our example:

Candles will be kept out of the reach of children and placed in holders that shield the naked flame.

  1. Record, train and plan

Make a note of the hazard and any measures you have put in place to minimise the risk. These measures should be communicated to anyone that will be involved in implementing or maintaining your fire safety plan.

Our example:

It was decided that candles would now only be positioned in areas of the holiday home that children couldn’t reach and be placed inside holders.

The holiday home cleaners were instructed of the changes and asked to ensure candles were only placed in those areas and that any broken holders were replaced within 2 days.  The candle would be removed until a replacement holder was available.

  1. Maintaining your fire risk assessment

Your assessment should include regular reviews of its effectiveness. This will also allow you to identify and highlight any potential issues that have arisen since you last put your plan in place.

Our example:

When initially conducting the assessment it was decided another full review would be conducted in two months time.

The review indicated that the steps to minimise the risk of candle fire and accident had been successful, but also highlighted a new barbeque had been added for the beginning of summer; steps would be put in place to address this new potential hazard.

With many guests booked in over the coming month a review would be completed in one month rather than two.

These documents will assist you with the Fire Safety Law for Holiday Letting as a holiday home owner to comply with your obligations under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Click the links below to find out more:

Holiday Home Fire Safety in England and Wales:

For Self-Catering holiday cottage owners in Scotland, the Scottish Government has produced the following:

For Self-Catering holiday cottage owners in Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service has produced the following PDF guide:

You may also find the following posts for holiday home owners of interest:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Please note that this article gives only an overview of Fire Safety Law for Holiday Letting 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 guidance. 

Smoke detectorThe consequences of a fire in a holiday home can be extremely expensive, disruptive and even fatal. With local fire authorities attending more than 450 household fire incidents across the country each and every day (170,000 in the past year), they are also more common than you may think.

There are several steps you can take in order to minimise the risk, here’re our tips on preventing the five most common causes of fire in holiday homes.

Kitchen fires – common causes of fire in holiday homes

The kitchen is the room that by far contains the most common causes of fire in holiday homes, accounting for 43% of all household fires.

What can you do?

  • Any build up of fat or grease can quickly ignite; ensure your holiday home kitchen is regularly cleaned and cooker extractor filters replaced.
  • Water should never be thrown onto a pan fire, as it will act as an accelerant. Keep a fire blanket in your kitchen area and ensure it is clearly visible.
  • Position your toaster away from kitchen roll or curtains and ensure it is emptied on a regular basis.
  • Make sure towels, dish clothes and other flammable materials are stored away from the toaster and oven areas in your holiday home.

Electrical Appliances

In excess of 20% of household fires (37,000) are attributed to issues with electrical appliances.

  • You have a legal obligation to ensure that any electrical appliance with the potential to cause injury is kept in a safe condition for your visitors to use.
  • If your visitor reports a potential default with an electrical appliance it’s important it is checked as soon as possible and in the mean time not used.
  • Ensure that all electrical appliances are PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) tested on a regular basis.
  • Consider how frequently checks are made. For example, you may wish to inspect appliances on a more regular basis during the busy summer months, when usage will be higher.
  • Always remember potential defaults will not be obviously visible; thorough and regular checks by a qualified electrician are therefore important.

Smoking Fires

Fires related to smoking are the most deadly in the UK, accounting for 36% of all fire fatalities. Not allowing smoking in your holiday home will of course be the most effective way of preventing these fires.

If you do allow smoking in the external and garden areas of your holiday home consider having a designated area for this, and include ashtrays that are either fitted to garden furniture or are too heavy to be easily flipped over or blown by the wind.

Chimney Fires

There are a staggering 6,000 chimney fires in the UK each year.

  • Ensure your chimney is swept at least once a year and in advance of it being lit for the first time in the autumn.
  • If you have an open fireplace in your holiday home a fireguard should be provided for guests and be in place at all times; this will prevent damage to your carpet and sparks flying into areas in which they could ignite.
  • Make sure your wood or fuel source is kept in a dry and cool environment.
  • Consider removing any accelerants (commonly used for barbeques) from your holiday home during the winter.

Candle fires

Whilst candles can create a pleasant, romantic and cosy ambiance in your holiday home, their open flame does have the potential to quickly cause holiday home fires.

  • If you do have candles in your holiday home consider placing them in sturdy holders, with sides higher than the height of the flame.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and in a place in which they can’t be knocked over or disturbed.

A quick reminder!

When was the last time you checked your smoke / heat detectors?

Have you carried out an annual review of your Fire Risk Assessment?

Prevention of fire is the most effective way to ensure your holiday home is open for business and all of your visitors are safe.

If you have found this post on the most common causes of fire in holiday homes useful, you may also find the following posts for holiday let owners of interest:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Tips on reducing the risk of chimney fires

It’s time to do your autumn sweep!

Paper houseWhilst many of us will revel in the idea of a glass of wine or local ale in front of a roaring fire they do come with safety considerations and risks; there are approximately 6,000 chimney fires in England each year. We look at ways of reducing the risk of holiday home chimney fires.

The most common cause of chimney fires are:

  • Infrequent sweeping and cleaning
  • Burning unseasoned wood
  • Smoldering wood for long periods in wood stoves.

Whilst the consequences of chimney fires can be extremely expensive, disruptive and even fatal, there are a few risk reducing things holiday homeowners can put in place which are both low cost and easy to implement.

How to minimise the risk of chimney fires in holiday homes

Sweep your chimney before first use

Any full or partial blockage to your chimney or flue is a risk of both fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. These blockages can be caused by a variety of reasons, from birds nesting to the ongoing buildup of soot.

It’s vital that in advance of being lit for the first time in autumn, your chimney is swept. The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps (www.guildofmasterchimneysweeps.co.uk) and The National Association of Chimney Sweeps (www.nacs.org.uk) have a network of members throughout the country. As well as provide a professional chimney cleaning service they will make recommendations as to how often your holiday homes chimney and flues should be swept.

Chimney sweeping frequency

  • Smokeless fuel – at least once a year
  • Wood – quarterly when in use
  • Oil and gas – once a year

In addition wood burning stoves, biomass, gas and oil boilers should be installed and regularly serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions by a competent engineer.

Ensure your fire has a fireguard

Sparks can easily fly from your fireplace and quickly result in a fire or at the very least damage to your carpets or flooring. If you do have an open fireplace in your holiday home a fireguard should be provided for guests and be in place at all times.

Remove accelerants

If your property includes a BBQ for visitors to enjoy in the summer you may have materials in your holiday home designed to aid and quicken the lighting or burning of charcoal.

Ensure they are removed from your home in order to avoid guests trying to dangerously accelerate the burning of their fire.

Communicate with your guests

Many of your guests will not have fires at home and will therefore have limited knowledge of their safe upkeep.

This highlights the need for effective and clear communication of fire safety with your guests. Think of ways in which factors such as ensuring the fire is extinguished before going to bed at night can be conveyed to those staying in your holiday home.

When was the last time you checked your detectors?

Your holiday home should include working smoke alarms or heat detectors and a carbon monoxide alarm which should be checked on a regular basis, not only to replace batteries when necessary but also that the unit is in full working condition. They do save lives so make sure yours are working.

The insurance angle – helping you get back on your feet

Our holiday homeowners are covered for damage to their property as a result of fire.  We also understand the potentially devastating financial impact having your holiday home unavailable for let as the result of a fire can have on your business.  Our loss of income covers you for the potential loss of income you may suffer as a result of disruption or interruption caused by an insured event such as fire.

This means that should you lose trade then you’ll not have to pay the price of the loss of trade you suffer through cancellations and periods of not being able to accept bookings.

We also understand that repairs and maintenance after such an event won’t be immediate; that’s why our indemnity period extends to two years.

For more holiday let maintenance tips and other top tips for holiday home owners please do have a read through our blog and let us know if there are any areas you’d like to us to write about.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Fire Safety Assessment

holiday home fire risk assessment This article offers guidance on fire safety law for sleeping accommodation providers. Almost six years have passed since the law known as the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, was introduced in October 2006. Despite the passing of time, Fire Safety Risk Assessments for holiday home owners remains, if you will excuse the pun, ‘a hot topic’.

As specialist providers of holiday home insurance for UK lets, this topic is raised frequently during discussions that we have with both holiday cottage owners and holiday home letting agents alike. There has been much confusion and speculation banded around the self-catering accommodation industry about the required frequency and content of a suitable assessment.

Complying with Fire Safety Law for Sleeping Accommodation Providers in England & Wales

Thankfully `The Chief Fire Officers Association’ have produced a leaflet containing information on complying with fire safety law for people who provide sleeping accommodation in England and Wales.

The document is entitled: Do You Have Paying Guests? If so, fire safety law applies to you, and you must take action

It also contains an Example Fire Risk Assessment Form for recording significant findings for small accommodation providers.

This leaflet is concise, written in plain language and aimed at the smaller end of the sleeping accommodation market, such as Bed and Breakfast’s, holiday homes, holiday cottages and holiday let apartments.

These documents will assist you as a holiday home owner to comply with your obligations under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Click the links below to find out more:

For Self-Catering holiday cottage owners in Scotland, the Scottish Government has produced the following:

You may also find the following posts for holiday home owners of interest:

Follow this link for other useful resources for holiday home owners

Holiday home owners should be aware that certain models of Beko fridge freezers have a fault which can lead to them catching fire. This informative article in the Independent explains, read on here