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3rd floor holiday let in 1850’s building


Guest Ron
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Guest Ron

Hi,

We have bought a 3rd floor flat (converted in 1983) in a stone built 1850s property located in England. We plan to let it out to holiday makers on a short term basis.

The building is divided into 3 flats, 2 under private residency and ours on the top floor. What fire safety do we need to put in place? I have read conflicting info regarding mains fed smoke alarms or long life battery etc. I am assuming they need to be interconnected? Obviously we’d rather avoid wreaking the decor to chase wires in if possible.

Thanks for any advice you can give.

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This is the link to the appropriate Government fire safety guidance for your usage of the flat:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/11085/payingguests.pdf

The rest of the building (common parts) is the responsibility of the freeholder or lease holder's 'right to manage' company with regard to risk assessment and fire safety provisions.

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Guest Ron

Hi Anthony,

Thanks for your reply and the link. That document refers to the risk assessment which I have already done. One of my risks is that the flat has old style battery smoke alarms, not interconnected and of unknown age. So they need to go in my view.

To be more specific in my question, I am looking for guidance on D1, D2 vs F1 and F2 smoke alarms and if there is a legal requirement for them to be wired in as I don’t want to have to chase wires into the property and make a mess?

Thanks

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As it's considered commercial sleeping risk rather than a flat on a AST the expectation would be for Grade D1 (mains with tamperproof battery) system that are interconnected. 

It's a long time since you needed to link via bell wire and now almost universally radio link units are used. You can find D1 Radio link alarms here https://www.safelincs.co.uk/smoke-alarms/

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Guest Ron

Hi, when you say “expectation” do you mean legal requirement? It will be hugely disruptive to put in a wired system at this stage. Flat has been plastered and painted etc

Thanks

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An enforcing authority would usually look for the D1 equipment and may require you to provide this and issue a deficiency notice if a lower specification was present. Insurers and holiday let host sites also may have minimum requirements. If it wasn't a holiday let battery units would be accepted as long as it hadn't been rewired in recent years (when it should have had the system upgraded to mains)

It's probably best asking your local council & fire service as they ultimately enforce and sometimes take a relaxed approach to certain requirements and may say battery only will do - the advice on here is taken from the benchmarks used by risk assessors, courts and enforcers, but each case is different.


It's a shame that the fire safety requirements were only considered after all works, it should be part of the planning stage to avoid disruption.

 

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