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HMO Fire Regulations & Fire Safety Checklist

An HMO (house of multiple occupants) is subject to different fire safety rules and regulations than normal residential properties. In this article, the team at Target Fire are going to look at what these HMO fire regulations are and how landlords and property managers can ensure they adhere to them.

Fire Safety Checklist

Here’s a handy checklist to help landlords, property managers and designated responsible persons assess whether or not their HMO meets all relevant fire safety standards.

  • Are smoke detectors fitted?
  • Do the smoke detectors work?
  • Are escape routes clearly visible and well-lit?
  • Do fire doors meet the 30 minute fire resistance criteria?
  • Do the fire doors have self-closing mechanisms?
  • Is all furniture fire safe?
  • Do the fire doors have intumescent strips with smoke seals?
  • Does the kitchen have a fire blanket?
  • Are combustible materials and ignition sources kept separate?
  • Has a fire risk assessment been carried out?

Fire Safety Guidelines

Fire Risk Assessments

One of the most effective ways to ensure that your property is safe for tenants is by arranging for a fire risk assessment from the experts at Target Fire. In these assessments, an expert will inspect your property in meticulous detail, from the fire alarms to the fire safety knowledge of your staff. All findings will be recorded for you to review, and any necessary remedial action will be suggested and carried out where possible.

Fire Alarms 

Fire alarms are crucial; they’re a building’s first line of defence against fire, and so your HMO must have working fire alarms on each floor. Fire alarm regulations for HMO properties vary depending on the size of the property in question. 

  • For one or two storey HMOs where each individual floor space is no larger than 200m2, a Grade D, LD3 alarm is required. Grade D alarms are mains-powered systems with backup batteries. They can be activated by radio signal or wire, which means fire alarm panels are not required. 


  • LD3 denotes the coverage area, and this is the minimal requirement.


  • For three-storey HMOs, the two options available are Grade A fire alarms, or a mixed system, which consists of Grade A systems in communal areas, and Grade D LD3 systems in individual spaces.

HMO Fire Doors

It is compulsory for all HMOs to have self-closing fire doors. These fire doors should be fire-rated and in keeping with the 30 minute fire resistance criteria. The doors should also have a smoke seal and an intumescent strip on the top and bottom of the door – the former is designed to keep smoke out for as long as possible, and the intumescent strips expand when heated, which serves to keep the door in the frame – this provides the 30 minute fire resistance.

By ensuring that your HMO meets all relevant fire safety regulations, you are helping to keep your tenants safe, as well as making sure you avoid the significant punishments for breaching fire safety regulations, such as heavy fines and even prison sentences.

Target Fire are experts in fire protection services for customers in the North West and across the UK. With over 25 years of experience, we’re able to supply the highest quality fire safety equipment and training, from fire alarms and extinguishers to fire safety training and fire risk assessments.

For free, impartial advice, call our expert team: 0800 030 6079

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