Guide

Make sure your home is fire safe

Last updated: 21 November 2017

Tenants (private)

It's important to make sure your home is fire safe.

If you or your landlord don't take the right steps to protect your home, there's a greater chance a fire could start.

Electrical inspections

Electrical problems are one of the most common causes of home fires.

Every landlord in Scotland has to carry out an electrical inspection of all the installations, fixtures, fittings and any appliances that the landlord has provided in a property.

During an inspection, an electrical contractor will:

  • test all the electrical appliances in the home
  • make sure all the wiring is safe
  • make sure electrical circuits aren't overloaded
  • check for fire hazards
  • check for risks of electric shock

These inspections have to be carried out at least once every five years.

If your tenancy started after 2015, your landlord should have given you a copy of the most recent inspection report before the tenancy started.

Your landlord is responsible for repairing any electrical items they provide as part of the tenancy, but you're responsible for any electrical items you add to your home yourself.

If repairs are needed

If you rent your home from a private landlord, it's your landlord's duty to make sure the home you're renting meets the 'Repairing Standard'.

This is a basic level of repair that all private rented properties must meet.

Some of the Repairing Standard conditions are about fire safety. For example, your landlord has to make sure:

  • the installations for gas, electricity and heating are in a reasonable state of repair and working order
  • any fixtures, fittings or appliances provided by the landlord (like light fittings and household equipment) are in a reasonable state of repair
  • your home is fitted with suitable fire detection devices – at least one smoke alarm in the living room, one in every hall or landing and a heat alarm in every kitchen
  • electrical safety inspections are carried out by a qualified electrician at least once every five years

Under Gas Safety regulations, gas appliances and flues must be inspected every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

If repairs are needed, you have to report this to your landlord or letting agent.

Getting a fire safety test

If you're worried that your building may not be safe, you can ask your landlord to arrange a fire safety test.

Send them a letter or email with:

  • an explanation why you think your home is unsafe
  • specific information on repairs you think need doing
  • a date you want them to reply to you by
  • your name and address
  • the date

If your landlord won't do an inspection

If you're a private tenant and your landlord won't arrange a fire safety test, contact your local council's environmental health department and explain your situation.

The council will arrange an inspection if they agree your home needs one. If the inspector finds that repairs need to be carried out, your council can force the landlord to carry them out.

If the council refuses to arrange an inspection, you may want to talk to your local MSP. You can find your local MSP and their contact details on the Scottish Parliament website.

Make sure your home is fire safe
Tenants (private)