New regulations aimed at improving key aspects of fire safety in the Isle of Man came into operation on 1 January 2017.
The Fire Precautions (Houses in Multiple Occupation and Flats) Regulations 2016 are available to view on the Government website, along with guidance to help property owners understand their responsibilities.
The updated regulations, which were the subject of a public consultation in 2016, put in place modern and appropriate fire prevention measures for flats and houses in multiple occupation (HMO) – properties in which people have their own bedrooms, but share facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms.
The regulations have been implemented by the Department of Home Affairs working in partnership with the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA). They complement building control legislation and cover a range of important fire safety issues.
Inspections of flats and houses in multiple occupation are carried out by the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service and officers are available to provide expert advice about the requirements for existing premises or future developments containing flats or HMO.
Members of the fire safety team are continuing to work with colleagues across Government to ensure the smooth introduction of the new regulations alongside existing legislation.
Carl Kinvig, Senior Fire Safety Officer, said:
‘The human and financial impact of a fire in a flat or house in multiple occupation can be devastating. Fortunately incidents of this nature are rare in the Isle of Man and the new regulations will further reduce the risks and, most importantly, save lives.’
‘Previously there were no fire safety standards specified for houses in multiple occupation, which present a similar fire risk as flats. We have worked closely with DEFA to modernise the legislation as part of our commitment to protecting the community. We are here to help and our focus is on assisting property owners to comply with the new regulations.’