Axminster B&B owner’s fire warning

People planning to let rooms during the Olympic Games are warned over the need to carry out a risk assessment

AN award-winning Axminster bed and breakfast operator is helping fire chiefs highlight visitor safety during the Olympics.

Many people are planning on letting out a spare room in their home for additional income while the Games are taking place.

And Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people that when someone pays to stay in their property whether it’s during the Olympics – or on any other occasion - a fire safety check needs to be carried out under the 2005 Fire Safety Order.

Joy Raymond, the owner of Hedgehog Corner B and B near Hunters Lodge, has added her voice to the safety campaign.

She said: “First and foremost I want to sleep soundly in the knowledge that me and my guests are safe. The implications of this relatively new legislation in which the owner is ‘responsible’ for Fire Safety came into force in 2006. This applies to me despite ‘only’ having three guest bedrooms on the first floor of my B and B. The sleeping six rule no longer applies and I know for a fact that many B and B owners are unaware that the new legislation applies to them.

“Yes, this has meant some expense such as fire doors to bedrooms and in public areas, emergency safety lighting, interlinked smoke and fire alarms, extinguishers and PAT testing to name some of the measures. However, on the bright side, it can go against tax, my property is properly protected, my customers can appreciate my professional approach to my business and most of all should an insurance claim arise I can be confident that my claim would be met.”

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Paul Bray, Community Safety Protection Manager said: “If there’s a fire and guests are injured or unfortunately killed, then we would take a very robust stance in terms of prosecution.

“Landlords must be able to demonstrate they have carried out a thorough process to identify the risks and then make sure people know what to do in case of fire.

Fire chiefs say the top five key points to writing a risk assessment are to identify any hazards; identify everyone at risk; remove, reduce or protect everyone from risk; write down the results and let everyone in the house know; review on a regular basis.