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Fire Safety within Short Term Lets

Fire safety regulations and requirements play a vital role in establishing a safe and secure environment for self-catering guests, owners and staff. This guidance document is designed to assist you in achieving compliance with the law by directing you to the appropriate resources. Additionally, it provides guidance to various safety obligations specified by the Scottish Government. By utilising these resources and following the checklist, you can ensure that your property meets the necessary fire safety standards applicable to Short-Term Let Regulations in Scotland and safeguards the well-being of your guests and your staff.

Fire Regulations Resources

To ensure the safety of guests and compliance with the law, it is essential to familiarise yourself with the most current regulations and guidelines provided by the relevant authorities in Scotland.

This document serves as a starting point, but it is crucial to regularly check for any updates or changes to fire safety regulations that may impact your self-catering property.

By adhering to the fire safety obligations set forth by the Scottish Government, local authorities, and the ASSC, you can create a secure environment that offers peace of mind to both yourself as the property owner and your guests. Taking proactive measures to mitigate fire risks and implement appropriate safety measures is crucial for maintaining a high standard of guest experience while safeguarding their well-being.

We have provided guidance below which we hope you find useful:

  1. Regulatory compliance: Familiarise yourself with the relevant fire safety regulations and guidelines set by the Scottish Government, local authorities, and the ASSC and according to Short-Term Let Regulations in Scotland.
  2. Regular maintenance: Regularly maintain and test fire safety equipment to ensure its effectiveness.
  3. Emergency planning: Developing a comprehensive emergency plan to effectively respond to fire incidents and protect the lives of your guests. Include:
    Route of Escape: Ensure that there are clear and unobstructed escape routes from all parts of the premises. Clearly signpost these routes with appropriate fire safety signs, such as “Fire Exit” signs, to help occupants find their way out quickly and safely.
    Fire Safety Instructions: Provide fire safety instructions for guests, detailing evacuation procedures, the location of fire exits, and how to use the fire safety equipment. This information can be provided in the form of a leaflet, a notice, or displayed prominently within the premises.
    How to Raise the Alarm and Emergency Contact Information: Display emergency contact numbers, including the local fire department’s contact information, in a visible location within the premises. This will enable guests to quickly report a fire or request assistance during an emergency.
  4. Fire risk assessment: Conduct a thorough and specific fire risk assessment for your premises. This assessment will help ensure the safety of individuals in the event of a fire and enable you to take appropriate fire safety measures to mitigate risks effectively. It is important that the premises comply with relevant safety standards. Using registered or third-party certificated persons or companies to carry out fire safety risk assessments is one way to establish competence. The Scottish Government and SFRS recommend selecting an assessor or company that is third party certificated by a United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited Certification Body or an assessor registered with a Professional Registration Scheme. SFRS maintains a list of recommended schemes on its website.
  5. Record and regularly review your Fire Risk Assessment. 
  6. Fire Safety Equipment: Install and maintain appropriate fire safety equipment, including smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and fire blankets. These should be placed strategically throughout the premises to ensure early detection and quick response in case of a fire.
  7. Thumb Turn Locks: Instal thumb turn locks on exit doors to enable easy and swift exit without the need for keys. This ensures that guests can quickly escape in the event of a fire without searching for a key to unlock the door.
  8. Lighting: Consider lighting in case of a fire. E.g, one or more automatic plug-in lights which will operate if electricity fails.
  9. Soft Furnishings: Most Soft furnishing, that meet fire resistance standards, will be provided with a suitable label indicating compliance. In instances where there is no label the manufacturer should be contacted to provide information on a product’s fire resistance. Where this is not possible products are available which, when following the manufacturer’s instructions, will give a suitable level of fire resistance e.g., fire retardant spray treatments.

We encourage you to use this document as a reference and consult the relevant authorities for the most up-to-date regulations and guidelines. By prioritising fire safety, you contribute to creating a positive and secure experience for your guests, ensuring their well-being during their stay at your holiday property. 

‘Maintaining a safe environment is not only a legal obligation but also an ethical responsibility as a short-term let licence holder’

It’s important to note that fire safety regulations and guidance may vary depending on the specific location, size, and type of accommodation. It is recommended to consult the relevant authorities, such as the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service or local council, for up-to-date information and specific requirements for Self-Catering in Scotland.

We hope that you find these resources helpful, and we wish you all the best with your self-catering business in Scotland. 

Author of guidance: ASSC

Date of guidance: June 2023 

Disclaimer – Guidance Sheets are written by experienced Members of the ASSC and other experts. The information in the ‘Guidance Sheet’ is provided by the ASSC for use by Members in support of their own independent business decisions. It does not constitute advice or instruction for which the ASSC can be held liable in any way whatsoever. All Members and other readers remain responsible for the consequences of any decisions taken whether in the light of information gained from this Guidance Sheet or not.

Fire Safety within Short Term Lets



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