Basic fire safety & Tenant responsibilities

Tenants are expected to monitor the property and its contents. Tenants must actively prevent fire and electrical accidents, when possible and safe for them to intervene. A tenant has a responsibility to uphold basic fire safety. This means they should mitigate hazards by:

  • Regularly checking the fire, smoke and CO alarms
  • Replacing the batteries on all detectors, when they run out
  • Properly using electrical appliances (defined by the user manual for each)
  • Properly storing highly combustible materials and liquids, like nail polish remover
  • Not leaving heat-producing electrical appliances unattended (stoves, irons)
  • Not leaving live flames unattended (candles, cigarettes, fireplaces)
  • Not using heat or flame producing items in dangerous proximity to combustible materials (paper, upholstery, nylon)
  • Fighting a started fire, if they can do it without endangering themselves to harm
  • Contacting the landlord regarding hazards in the property (fire and electrical safety)
  • Contacting the emergency services if a strong fire has erupted and tenants have fled the property

Tenants are solely responsible for furniture, upholstery, electrical appliances and combustible materials that they own, and, have brought into the property. Landlords hold no accountability for items that have not been in the property when renters moved in. They are only responsible for equipment and furniture that is part of the property, as described in the tenancy agreement or inventory report.


If you suspect anything is a fire risk you must let your landlord or letting agent know immediately. Don’t compromise on safety. The landlord does not want to be liable in the event of a fire. It is in their interest to replace the furniture and fix the fire alarm(s). To make improvements, they rely on their tenants to notify them of any issues in the property in due time.

Always opt for written communications (best over email). If you ever need to provide evidence for your communication, verbal talks will not do you any good.


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People and property are my passion, and I love it when they work together in harmony, especially when it involves a binding legal agreement that provides an accurate written record of the condition, contents, and cleanliness of a property at the beginning, during and end of a tenancy. My role is to share insights, knowledge, skills, and know-how with people invested in property. Read more about the evolution of IAM Inventories.