Warnings raised over student housing fire hazards

Warnings raised over student housing fire hazards

Total Landlord Insurance has issued a warning to students and their landlords over fire hazards in rented properties, as latest figures reveal that 24% of high value claims (over £20,000) have been as a result of a fire.

The most common causes of fire related claims are cigarettes, candles, appliances left on, overuse of extension leads, deep fat fryers and portable heaters. Students moving into shared houses for the first time are likely to be filling plug banks with numerous electrical devises (laptops, phone chargers, and televisions), cooking using appliances they may not be familiar with and potentially smoking whilst under the influence of alcohol.

Eddie Hooker, CEO of Total Landlord Insurance says: “It’s easy for students to get caught up in the excitement of living on their own, but all it takes for a fire to start is a moment of negligence. We all know that fires can be devastating, not only to properties but to human lives and yet many wouldn’t happen if tenants took simple preventative measures, such as not leaving cooking unattended, not overloading plug banks and ensuring cigarettes are properly extinguished.”

In a recent case, a student left the plastic covering from food packaging on the hob and forgot to turn the hob off. The plastic cover caught fire causing damage to the worktops, cupboards and sink in the kitchen and smoke damage throughout the property. According to Total Landlord Insurance, the average value for a fire related incident in a rented property is £19,052.

Total Landlord Insurance is also reminding landlords of their responsibilities to ensure their property is suitable for the type of tenant. They must carry out a fire risk assessment, HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation, which many student houses are) require an escape route lit with emergency lighting and the property should have fire resistant doors that automatically close. All upholstered furnishings must be made from a fire-resistant material, there should be a working fire alarm on every floor and carbon monoxide detectors in any room with fuel burning appliances.

10 precautions landlords should enforce and students should take note of to minimise the risk of fire

1. Smoke outside the property
2. Avoid lighting candles
3. Check that sockets are not overloaded
4. Do not use electric heaters for drying clothes or towels and keep flammable materials like oven mitts and wooden utensils away from cooking areas and heaters.
5. Keep escape routes clear and do not prop fire doors open
6. Unplug all appliances when not in use, do not just switch off – particularly phone chargers and hair straighteners
7. Ensure there is a fire blanket in the kitchen
8. Regularly check smoke alarms are working

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Scott Garnet
Scott Garnet 06 Nov 2017

If you have a patio or a porch it is important to make sure that any connecting doors are secured. Good advice for sliding glass doors is replacing the panels with storm resistant glass and getting heavier...

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richardrawlings 01 Nov 2017

What has not been mentioned here is the effect of not only higher interest payments, but also that these payments are less likely to be offsettable as a business cost due to the scaling back of mortgage...

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Kelvin Lloyd
Kelvin Lloyd 09 Oct 2017

IT is up, to the Planners. If they will only give permission for bungalows on certain (suitable) sites, they will be built.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

It's just the beginning of the shocking rise.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

I have recently read that the bungalows can provide social housing for elderly residents in London.

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zoe glover
zoe glover 05 Oct 2017

Update! Worst company I have ever dealt with. Undervalued a Cambridge property by over 100k, wont take on any evidence of valuation including a RICS valuation done 3 years ago for the very same value...

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Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards 27 Sep 2017

Its nonsense articles such as this that make it harder to get clients to realise just how difficult the market is out there. When you see Rightmove and there are more 'price reduced' then 'new' most days...

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Tom Allen
Tom Allen 20 Sep 2017

Absolutely agree with you!

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RyanGeo 18 Sep 2017

A sharp correction would be a less dramatic expression to use. That is already underway in certain sectors in Reading where I practice as Chartered Surveyor

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sean benton
sean benton 01 Sep 2017

Identity theft is a thread for any profession. So,people should stay alarmed. I once take help from a letting agent and came to know that letting agents are taking every precaution to prevent fraudulent...

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Mark N.
Mark N. 30 Aug 2017

We have seen a surge in instructions over August and that should continue into September too.

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Chris 30 Aug 2017

Unfortunately, all the legislation bears its force on Landlords and ignores, naively, the effect of Rogue Tenants on the ability of landlords to keep houses in repair and offer properties for rent at reasonable...

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