Category: Owner Information

New Fire Safety Regulations for UK Holiday Home Owners 2023

As a holiday home owner, your guests’ safety is of paramount importance. In order to keep everyone safe it’s important that your property meets the latest safety standards, which is not only a legal requirement but also a moral responsibility. As of 1st October 2023, new fire safety regulations for UK holiday home owners will come into effect. Here is a guide to everything you need to know as a holiday let owner.

New fire safety regulations in a nutshell

holiday home with wood burning stove

As of October 1st 2023, new fire safety regulations will come into effect for all UK holiday home owners. We have summarised these below:

Full length, written assessments, covering every aspect of fire risk, will now become a legal requirement for all properties where someone is paying to stay in it. This document is called the Fire Safety Risk Assessment: sleeping accommodation

The government has also issued new guidance for ‘small paying guest accommodation’ which is defined as ‘a single premises of ground floor, or ground and first floor, providing sleeping accommodation for a maxim of 10 persons, with no more than four bedrooms on the first floor’ or ‘ individual flats (whether within a purpose-built block of flats or a house that has been converted into flats), other than unusually large flats’. 

If your premise is large or complex, then the Fire Safety Risk Assessment: Sleeping Accommodation document still applies. These are likely to be reviewed again in 2024. 

Check out the Gov website for more in-depth information about the new fire safety regulations for UK holiday home owners.

Main fire protection measures you need to know

So what exactly does the new guidance say? Well, we’ve summarised the main points for you. Following these main points will ensure you are compliant with the new fire safety regulations for UK holiday home owners.

Fire Risk Assessment:

fire risk assessment form with red pen

You’ve probably heard of a risk assessment before. As a holiday home owner, you need to carry out risk assessments to ensure you keep your guests and yourself safe as well as outline all the potential hazards within your property. A fire risk assessment is just as important, if not more so. 

The new regulations coming into effect mean that it is now a legal requirement for you to fill out a comprehensive, written fire risk assessment that covers all areas of fire risk within your property. You must also have a copy of this fire risk assessment on display within the property. We recommend having this within your welcome folder. 

Whilst you can carry out this risk assessment yourself, sometimes it is better to consult with a fire safety professional who can give you an up-to-date assessment that follows all fire safety guidelines. Additionally, if you have a large or more complex property it is highly unlikely you as the owner will have the experience to thoroughly and sufficiently evaluate the level of risk.

Fire checks and fire safety equipment

red fiier extinguisher on the wall in a property.

Fire checks should be carried out regularly. The guidance now states that it should be done after every changeover and the results must be recorded. So if you haven’t been doing this already, you need to make sure this is a priority. 

Fire safety equipment should also be a priority. Make sure you have fire blankets available in the kitchen and the correct fire extinguishers easily accessible around your property. Your fire risk assessor will be able to tell you which ones are needed for your holiday home.

Chimneys and candles

For all properties with a log burner or open fire, you need to make sure that the chimney is swept annually and kept clean as this can be a high-risk place for a fire to start. 

It is also advised to prohibit candles in your holiday property and be sure to let your guests know what your policy is regarding them. 

Emergency Lighting

Emergency lighting is required in all bedrooms and along escape routes. This is to ensure your guests remain safe should your property experience a blackout or power failure. In most cases ‘borrowed lighting’ (e.g. from street lamps) would be sufficient enough to allow your guests to find their way out of the property. 

However, you may also want to consider additional options such as battery-powered torches and emergency escape lights. A fire risk assessor would be able to advise you on suitable options for your property when carrying out your fire risk assessment.  

Escape Routes and Fire Doors

emergency exit signs light up in green

The new fire safety regulations state that all escape routes must have doors with 30-minute fire protection capabilities. If you’re current doors do not offer this window of safety you’ll want to consider changing them or making some adaptations that will offer the same level of protection. 

Escape routes should be kept clear at all times and easy to use by everyone. In most holiday homes escape routes won’t need to be marked as the main exits are doors that are in constant use, however, should you have a larger or more complex property with several means of escape, you’ll want to make it clear where all the main fire exits are. 

Smoke Detectors

smoke detector on ceiling with flames underneath it.

You may currently have some smoke alarms in your holiday home, however, the new regulations will now require you to have linked hard-wired smoke detectors in all bedrooms and living rooms, as well as in hallways, corridors, staircases, sitting rooms, and dining rooms that lead to the main fire exit.

Larger properties or more complex properties may need a more sophisticated detection system which can be discussed with a professional assessor. You may also want to consider installing a heat detection alarm in a kitchen rather than a smoke alarm.

Maintenance and electrical testing

As a holiday home owner, it is vitally important that maintenance is kept on top of and that you are testing all permanent electrical equipment within your property. The following checks must be carried out:

Daily checks (where staff or owners are present):

  • Make sure all exit routes are clear of obstructions.

Weekly checks:

  • Make sure all smoke detection systems (rather than domestic smoke alarms) work. Use a different manual call point each week. If you only have a domestic system in place, make sure each detector is tested each week. 
  • Check all fire-resisting doors work effectively 

Monthly checks:

  • Check all exit doors that are not in constant use can be opened easily. 
  • Check all rechargeable torches and emergency lighting to make sure they operate correctly.

Six monthly checks:

  • Service any fire detection/heat alarms using a competent contractor.
  • Check fire doors for damage and replace if necessary.

Annual checks:

  • Fire safety risk assessment.
  • Get a competent contractor to service your emergency escape lighting and fire extinguishers.

It is a legal requirement in holiday homes to obtain an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) every five years. This applies to all types of holiday properties including glamping pods and shepherd’s huts.


In the new guidance, thumb turn locks are now strongly recommended on all exit doors. There are only a few instances where it could be deemed unnecessary. Thumb turn locks can be easily retrofitted to most doors instead of replacing them altogether.

Heating and hot water

You will need to make sure that all hot water and heating systems are inspected annually. This includes systems that are powered by renewable energy (e.g. air/ground source heat pumps)

For a comprehensive guide on the new fire safety regulations take a look at the small paying guest accommodation guide on the Government website. You’ll also find a fire risk assessment checklist at the end of the guide so you can make sure your accommodation is safe from a fire.

How can I make sure I’m compliant with the new fire safety regulations?

fire place in a holiday cottage.

To ensure your holiday home complies with the new fire safety regulations, we recommend following these steps:

  1. Hire a professional to carry out a fire risk assessment. They will be able to identify potential fire hazards and recommend necessary safety measures. You can also take a look at pages 31 to 38 of the small paying guest accommodation guide for a fire risk assessment checklist. 
  2. After your fire risk assessment has been carried out, upgrade or install the recommended fire safety measures such as smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and fire-resistant doors.
  3. Create a comprehensive fire safety plan. This plan should include all escape routes, emergency contact information, and instructions for your guests on what to do in the event of a fire. Add all this information to your guest handbook or welcome pack.

Finding an accredited fire risk assessor

We strongly advise finding a professional to conduct your Fire Risk Assessment. The obvious place to start your search for an accredited assessor would be using search engines like Google and searching for a ‘fire safety risk assessor’. However, you can also use the following websites:

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