New Smoke Alarm Regulations for Rented Homes in Wales

From 15th July 2022, the Renting Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) (Wales) Regulations come into force. All landlords in Wales will need to ensure their properties meet the new legislation in order to be classified as fit for human habitation. New rules on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are stipulated as part of the regulations. So, what does this mean for landlords in Wales?

new regulations for rented homes in Wales

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rented properties in Wales

To comply with the new smoke alarm regulations, landlords must ensure all rented properties have a minimum of:

  • At least one hard-wired smoke alarm (mains powered) on each level of the home
  • All hard-wired alarms must be interlinked, either via a wireless radio-interlinking system or wired interlinking system
  • A carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a fuel burning appliance (gas, oil or solid fuel)
  • A heat alarm in the kitchen 

View our range of alarms suitable for the new Welsh regulations.


Protecting tenants and property from fire

Whilst the above regulations set out a minimum smoke alarm requirement, it also recommends that in larger or more complex properties additional smoke alarms should be considered in order to fully protect tenants. Any alarms additional to the new regulations are not required to be interlinked or mains-powered.

With 60% of fires in the home beginning in the kitchen, a heat alarm is recommended. Heat alarms can be installed in the kitchen and will not be triggered by cooking fumes or steam, meaning less false alarms.

new smoke alarm regulations
Consider installing additional smoke and heat alarms in larger properties

What is the deadline for complying with the new Welsh regulations?

For smoke alarms, where there is already a tenancy in place on 15th July 2022, landlords will have until 15th July 2023 to comply with the new smoke alarm regulations. If a new tenancy starts after the 15th July 2022 deadline, smoke alarms must meet the new requirements at the start of the tenancy. The regulations for providing a CO alarm in each room with a fuel burning appliance is applicable in all rental homes regardless of tenancy agreements from 15th July 2022. More clarification can be sought in this in-depth smoke alarm guide from the Landlords Guild.

Which alarms do I need for my rental property in Wales?

Landlords need to provide mains-powered smoke alarms that are interlinking on each level of the rental home. Carbon monoxide alarms should also be provided. See above for full guidance on the new regulations. View our range of alarms suitable for the new Welsh regulations.

Who is responsible for the alarms once they are installed?

Under the new smoke alarms regulations in Wales, landlords are responsible for maintaining and replacing smoke alarms when necessary. It is important to note the date of alarm installation and when the alarm will require replacing. Smoke alarm sensors usually have a lifespan of 10 years (always check the manufacturer’s instructions), after which they become less effective. Landlords are not responsible for testing the smoke alarms.

Do hard-wired smoke alarms need to be installed by an electrician?

Yes. Hard-wired smoke alarms need to be installed by an electrician.

What is the penalty for not complying with the new smoke alarm rules?

The regulations have been updated to protect the safety of tenants. Radio-interlinked alarms alert residents sooner, allowing more time to escape in an emergency. Mains-powered alarms give more certainty to tenants and landlords than battery powered alarms. Under the new Fitness of Homes for Human Habitation legislation, any property that is not fitted with compliant smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will be deemed as not fit for human habitation. Until this is resolved, the tenant would not be required to pay rent.

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

Save Money On Your Energy Bills! Draught-proof Your Home

With electric and gas prices rising, making your home as energy efficient as possible should be a priority for anyone looking to save money on their energy bills. According to Which? draught-proofing is one of the top 10 ways to reduce energy bills. DraughtEx and Gapseal draught excluders are an easy and cost-effective way to insulate your home and could cut your heating bills significantly.

save money on your energy bills
Save money on your energy bills by draught-proofing your home

Make your home more energy efficient

Stop heat escaping through gaps and cracks to make your home more energy efficient. By reducing heat loss, less energy will be required to heat your home. The EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of your home which takes into account the energy performance of windows and floors, can be improved by draught-proofing. Not only does a high EPC rating make for a more comfortable living environment, it may also help prospective buyers when selling your home. Landlords in England and Wales are required by law to get an EPC rating of band E or above when letting out properties. Draught-proofing is an easy solution to improving the energy efficiency and EPC rating whilst also reducing your carbon footprint.

Draught-proof your home with DraughtEx
Use DraughtEx to plug draughty floorboard gaps

Save money on your energy bills

Draught-proofing can significantly lower your energy bills as less heating is required to maintain your home at a comfortable temperature. The Energy Saving Trust predicts that insulating the floorboards on the ground floor of a gas-heated home could save as much as £85 per year. DraughtEx Floorboard Gap Filler is ideal for this purpose. In older houses with sash windows, Gapseal Sash Window Filler can also help to reduce heat loss around windows.

Save money by draught-proofing your home with Gapseal
Use Gapseal to reduce heat loss around sash windows

Easy, no-mess draught excluders

Both DraughtEx and Gapseal offer an easy, cost-effective solution to cold draughts. With no gluing required, both products are supplied with a free applicator tool to push the flexible tube into the gap, plugging the draught. The flexible nature of DraughtEx and Gapseal means that over time, the filler will not crack or age, giving long lasting draught protection.


Why not order a sample pack of DraughtEx or Gapseal and see the difference it could make to your home and energy bills?

DraughtEx Floorboard Gap Filler
  • Floorboard draught excluder
  • Supplied with FREE applicator tool
  • Available in 3 sizes: thin, standard and thick
  • FREE economy delivery

£7.91 ex VAT
£9.49 inc VAT
Buy Now
Gapseal Sash Window Gap Filler
  • Sash window draught excluder
  • Supplied with FREE applicator tool
  • Suitable for 2-7mm gaps
  • FREE economy delivery

£11.66 ex VAT
£13.99 inc VAT
Buy Now

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

Temporary Fire Doors – Keeping Workers Safe on Construction Sites

Construction sites can be hazardous places and the health and safety of workers and contractors must be a priority. Installing temporary fire doors during the construction phase should be considered in the fire safety plan prior to construction. According to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the principal designers should consider compartmentation and escape routes as part of their health and safety planning. This is particularly important in high rise buildings where the escape route could be cut off in the event of a fire.

construction site fire doors

Fire doors – part of a compartmentation system

If a fire breaks out, fire doors, walls, ceilings and floors can be designed to form a passive fire protection system. This system will contain a fire in one area of the building. It will prevent it from spreading and causing further damage or endangering lives. Construction site fire doors are a critical part of this system and can protect escape routes, allowing contractors to exit the building safely in the case of a fire.

Temporary fire rated doors

Temporary fire protection during construction does not need to look good! It needs to serve a purpose. Therefore a fire door that has no primer or final finish is ideal as a solution during the construction phase. An FD30 fire rated door usually provides sufficient protection. However, a higher rating may be required depending on the type of fire risks and building specifications. Fire doors, whether temporary or not, should be fitted with a self-closing device.

Build a temporary site fire door to your specifications and measurements using our fire door configurator. Choose a basic, unprimed finish, add door closers, intumescent fire and smoke seals and frames if required.

Find out more about temporary fire protection during construction in our article fire safety on construction sites.

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

Exciting Times Ahead for our Expanding Fire and Safety Business

In the 20th Anniversary year, Safelincs Fire & Safety continues to expand and recruit. Rapid growth and a passion for innovation have led to a recruitment drive to find the right people to add value to our fantastic team.

Safelincs HQ
The Safelincs HQ

20 years of growth and expansion

Safelincs has grown and expanded year on year, moving into a 5-acre site in central Alford, Lincolnshire in 2018. Now, with 78,000 sq. ft. of office and warehouse space, our dedicated workforce of over 70 staff work hard to fulfil the fire and safety needs of our customers, offering innovative products and solutions.

Some of the Safelincs team
Some of the Safelincs team

With 3-year sales growth of 49%, Safelincs has seen rapid growth and has expanded to trade internationally as well as in the UK. As the UK’s largest online fire and safety retailer, our 6000+ products can provide solutions to customers from many business sectors as well as protecting homes and occupants.

Safelincs 20th Anniversary celebrations
Safelincs 20th Anniversary celebrations
20th anniversary celebrations
Staff enjoyed good food and entertainment

Recruiting for the future

With great customer care at the forefront of our company policy, the need to expand the customer service team to maintain our high standards is of primary importance. After winning East Lindsey District Council’s Excellence in Customer Service Award in 2019, our customer service team has gone from strength to strength. Our 5-star Trustpilot and Google reviews are a testament to their dedication.


customer review

Other teams across the business continue to grow to allow for innovation, product development, and expansion of our range across all sectors. The busy Products department is continually working with suppliers to ensure that our range is forward-thinking and at the forefront of the fire safety industry. Testing and quality-checking products is also an important part of the process so that our customers always receive excellent value for money.

technical team on a web link
Web development team using the live video link

Forward-thinking

To stay ahead of developments, we invest a lot into technical solutions. We have a dedicated web development team of four staff members split between our Alford HQ and our Hull office. They manage our websites and other bespoke in-house systems and software. In total, we have developed over 56 websites, as well as innovative software solutions, such as our fire door configurator, which enables our customers to order and get instant pricing on bespoke fire doors with a range of finishes and glazing options.  To stay in close communication with each other we have a live video link between the two offices. This allows the team to communicate as if they were working in one space.

Hit the road with our Business Development Team, Engineers and Installers who travel across the UK meeting customers. They advise on fire safety and complete installations of all kinds of fire safety equipment from extinguishers to evacuation chairs. Our Business Development Team can also be found representing Safelincs at exhibitions and showcasing Safelincs’ products and services.

fire extinguisher installation
Fire Extinguisher Installation at a Holiday Park
Fire Safety Event in 2021
The Safelincs stand at the Fire Safety Event in 2021

It’s all hands on deck in our warehouse with staff working hard to process stock arriving from suppliers. Orders get safely packed and delivered on time to our customers. To update and improve our warehouse spaces we have just completed a roof replacement. Now lots of natural light flows into the main warehouse.

Warehouse packing bay
A packing bay in the warehouse

Ongoing innovation in fire safety

Not-for-profit and charitable work also continues to play a big part in our business. Most recently, our technical team have been busy building an ambitious fire prevention tool (Online Home Fire Safety Check) in partnership with the National Fire Chiefs Council for use by Fire Rescue Services. This is currently being rolled out across England and is a great example of our innovation in the industry. This tool will be used by the fire service to offer advice on fire prevention within the home.

Online Home Fire Safety Check workshop
Online Home Fire Safety Check workshop
Online Home Fire Safety Check
Online Home Fire Safety Check tool

Jobs at Safelincs

We are currently looking for new members of staff to help Safelincs grow and develop further. Do you think you could add value to our team? If you would like to be a part of our journey, view jobs at Safelincs to apply for one of our vacancies. Or send your CV to jobs@safelincs.co.uk

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

Can fire extinguishers be stored outside?

With the British winter and its variable weather conditions, it is important to make sure your fire safety equipment is protected from the elements. Fire extinguishers can be stored outside but only if they are well protected. British standards on fire safety state that fire extinguishers should be properly maintained and protected from vandalism, damage and weather conditions. A fire extinguisher is only useful if it is maintained and ready when a fire breaks out.

fire extinguisher cabinet outside
Steel fire extinguishers should be protected from adverse weather conditions when stored outside

Can fire extinguishers be stored outside?

Yes, fire extinguishers can be stored outside. However, it is important to protect your outdoor extinguishers so that they are always ready to be used in an emergency. Legislation states that all fire safety equipment that could be damaged by rain and frost should be suitably protected. 

Fire extinguishers should always be easily accessible. In many locations such as holiday parks, petrol stations, farms or depots it is therefore necessary to store extinguishers outside. Fire points should be set up in an accessible location and should be clearly marked with fire safety signage.


What is the best outdoor fire extinguisher storage solution?

To find the best outdoor storage solution to protect your fire extinguishers you will need to look at the location for the extinguishers and also the level of protection required against:

  • Weather
  • Theft, misuse or vandalism
  • Accidental damage

Protection against the weather: Weatherproof extinguisher cabinets and boxes feature waterproof seals, making them completely water tight. UV resistant cabinets remain strong and durable when exposed to sunlight for long periods, maintaining optimum protection for the extinguishers stored inside.

Protection against theft, misuse or vandalism: Fire extinguisher theft deterrents include alarms that sound when the fire extinguisher pin is pulled and alarmed wall brackets that sound when the extinguisher is removed. Extinguisher cabinets or boxes with built-in alarms are also available. The alarm sounds when the cabinet is opened. Some of these devices, such as the Wireless Fire Extinguisher Theft Stopper, can be monitored remotely so that an alert is received when the alarm is activated.

Lockable outdoor storage cabinets provide added protection. The key is stored on the front of the cabinet and can only be accessed by breaking the glass.

Protection against accidental damage: Many fire extinguisher cabinets, like the UltraFire Double Extinguisher Cabinet are made from impact resistant polypropylene. This makes them highly durable. This type of shatter-proof cabinet is ideal for environments like construction sites or an HGV exterior where accidental damage is more likely.


Extinguisher Cabinet on HGV
The shatter-proof UltraFire Single Extinguisher Cabinet is ideal for HGVs

What is the best outdoor fire extinguisher?

Weatherproof extinguishers

The best type of fire extinguishers for your site will be determined by your fire risk assessment and will depend upon the type of activities and fire risks found on or near your site. Here are some options that are suitable for outside locations:

If you are looking for an extinguisher that can withstand harsh weather conditions the P50 Service-free Extinguishers are a great option. They are highly durable and completely weatherproof with a UV resistant outer shell and corrosion free construction. These extinguishers can be stored in the harshest outside environment without additional protection from the elements. Foam P50s can be purchased with added anti-freeze for extra protection down to -5⁰. Always check the lowest operating temperature of your fire extinguisher to ensure that your extinguisher will be at the ready even when temperatures go below 0⁰ degrees.


P50 foam extinguisher in the sun
The P50 Foam Extinguisher is UV protected and weatherproof, ideal for outdoor use

Traditional steel extinguishers

Traditional steel fire extinguishers need to be protected from the weather otherwise they will be at risk of corrosion. A weatherproof fire extinguisher cabinet is ideal for this purpose. Tested to IP59K, the outdoor extinguisher cabinets from UltraFire will protect fire extinguishers from dust, UV rays and rain. They even protect extinguishers from high-pressure water jets. This makes these cabinets ideal for fixing to the outside of vehicles.

When protected from the risk of corrosion, ABC powder extinguishers can be used in temperatures down to -20⁰C. Powder extinguishers are also best suited to outdoor use and are versatile in tackling a variety of fire risks. Water extinguishers are at risk of freezing in really harsh conditions. It is recommended that anti-freeze is added to water extinguishers that are stored outside without insulation. If this is something that you require, please speak to our servicing team on 0800 612 4827 or email servicing@safelincs.co.uk.

Frequently Asked Questions

What temperature should fire extinguishers be stored at?

Foam and Water extinguishers are at risk of freezing or spoiling if the temperature drops below 0⁰C. For safe outdoor storage, these extinguishers should have anti-freeze added to ensure that they are ready for action in an emergency. ABC Powder extinguishers can operate normally to a temperature of -20⁰C.

Can you leave a fire extinguisher outside?

Traditional steel fire extinguishers can be left outside if they are in a weatherproof cabinet or box. P50 Service-Free Fire Extinguishers can be left outside without extra protection from the weather. This is because they are completely weatherproof and do not corrode. In addition, vandalism and theft should also be taken into consideration. A fire equipment storage box or cabinet with an alarm can protect extinguishers from misuse or damage.

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

Fire safety tips for student accommodation

Off to university and renting student halls or a shared home? Did you know that someone living in rented or shared accommodation is 7 times more likely to have a fire? If this is your first time living in rented accommodation, read our top 5 fire safety tips for students to keep yourself and your housemates safe.

student fire safety in the kitchen
Over half of all accidental house fires happen in the kitchen

Our Top 5 Fire Safety Tips for Students

  1. Read our guide on what to look out for when renting a home so you can be sure that your landlord or housing provider is doing their bit to protect you in the event of a fire.
  2. Test your smoke alarms regularly and replace the batteries straight away if there is a low battery warning. If your smoke alarm is beeping and you can’t solve the problem, notify your landlord.
  3. Take care when cooking! Over half of all accidental fires at home happen in the kitchen. Keep loose clothing, tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob. Make sure your oven and hob are cleaned regularly to avoid grease and oil building up and always check you have turned off appliances after using them. If you are frying food, take care not to let oil get too hot – if the oil starts to smoke, turn the heat down as it could burst into flames. Always keep an eye on your cooking – don’t be distracted by devices or by others. Set a timer so that you don’t forget to check the food regularly. It’s best to avoid cooking if you have been drinking alcohol as it is more likely that you will have an accident.
  4. Avoid burning candles or incense inside the house as they are at risk of starting a fire if knocked over or could set fire to a curtain or other fabric nearby. To make your new room cosy use battery operated candles and reed defuses as a safer alternative. Smoking inside the house could also start a fire accidentally.
  5. Electrical devices, cables and plug sockets can cause a fire! If your charging cable is cracked, severely twisted or has exposed wires, don’t use it, it could cause a fire. Buy a replacement from a well-known manufacturer. Don’t charge your phone or laptop on your bed or any other surface that could catch fire, instead opt for a work surface or table. Turn off electrical chargers, devices or appliances before bed or when leaving the house. Mobile phones that are charged on beds and under pillows get easily overheated and can start a fire.

    Did you know, sockets and plug boards have a limit on how many items can be plugged into them? Plugging too many plugs into a socket or extension cable could overload it and cause a fire. You can use this socket calculator to check whether your extension leads and adaptors are overloaded.

If you are worried about fire safety in your home, why not take our online home fire safety check? Answer questions about your student accommodation and you’ll be provided with advice about the best way to prevent a fire.

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

New regulations announced for smoke and CO alarms in social housing

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities published a press release on 23rd November 2021 detailing changes to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. These new regulations for smoke and CO alarms will improve safety standards in social housing for many people in England. This will bring them more in line with what is expected from private landlords.

What are the new regulations for smoke and CO alarms in social housing?

Smoke alarms have been mandatory in private rented accommodation since 2015, but rules for social housing have remained less clear. Now, under new regulations announced this week, social housing providers will have to adhere to the following rules:

  • All social housing must have a smoke alarm fitted
  • Any rented home including social housing must have a carbon monoxide detector fitted if the property has a fixed appliance like a gas boiler or gas fire
  • If a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm is reported as faulty, landlords or housing providers must fix or replace it as soon as possible

Further details will follow on where the alarms should be fitted and any relevant alarm standards that must be adhered to.

new regulations for co alarm and gas boilers
Any rented home with a gas boiler will have to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed

Greater consistency for safety in the rental sector

Around 60 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales and many more from house fires. It is hoped these regulations will help to drive-up standards in social housing. Eddie Hughes, MP for Rough Sleeping and Housing said ‘I’m proud that the new rules being proposed will ensure even more homes are fitted with life-saving alarms. Whether you own your home, are privately renting or in social housing – everyone deserves to feel safe and this is an incredibly important step in protecting those at risk.’

Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Carbon monoxide alarms will be mandatory in social housing with a fixed appliance

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) welcomes these changes and believes many people will be safer in their homes as a result. Jim Bywater, NFCC said ‘The new regulations will contribute to reducing fire and carbon monoxide casualties and fatalities and bring consistency and greater protection to those living in both private and social rented homes.’

The news comes during Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week and has been celebrated by the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG). After conducting research studies into CO poisoning and poverty in the UK, they have been campaigning for change for a number of years. Safelincs attended the launch event for the APPCOG CO Awareness Week and are proud to support this event each year. Safelincs have also been working with the NFCC to create a free assessment tool to improve fire safety in homes across the UK.

Are you concerned about fire safety at home?

If you are worried about fire safety in your home or someone else’s home, why not complete our Online Home Fire Safety Check? Get tips and advice on how to reduce fire risks.

online home fire safety check screen
Online Home Fire Safety Check

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

P50: The Eco-friendly Fire Extinguisher

Not only will the P50 Service-Free Fire Extinguisher save you money, it is also an eco-friendly choice. With a low-carbon manufacturing process, long-lasting design and fully recyclable construction, P50 Fire Extinguishers are a great option if you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint. Carbon emissions are reduced even further as there are no engineer visits required to your site.

Eco-friendly manufacturing

P50 Fire Extinguishers are energy efficient to manufacture. Unlike traditional fire extinguishers that are made of steel, P50s are made from granules of plastic. These are formed into a cylinder shape using blow moulding. This is a low-energy, clean and eco-friendly manufacturing process. It produces zero wastage as any off-cuts of plastic are turned back into granules and re-used.

P50 eco-friendly extinguishers are made in the UK at Britannia Fire’s factory in Norfolk. By buying a fire extinguisher that is manufactured in the UK, you are reducing the number of miles the product has travelled to reach your premises. This in turn, reduces your carbon footprint and contributes to lowering your environmental impact.

P50 Extinguishers can contribute to your green initiatives

Long-lasting design vs traditional steel extinguishers

The construction of P50 Fire Extinguishers is unlike anything else on the market. Because of the materials used and the quality of assembly, the fire-fighting media in P50 extinguishers last 10 years without requiring a refill. This compares favourably to the usual 5 years for a traditional steel extinguisher. Not only do they last twice as long, P50 extinguishers can also be refilled by the manufacturer after 10 years for an extra 10 years of service. Meaning that one unit can last for 20 years! The unit is then recyclable at the end of its useable life.

P50 extinguishers do not suffer corrosion like many traditional extinguishers and are UV treated to withstand the long-term effects of exposure to sunlight. This makes them completely weather resistant and durable, allowing them to be used for a longer period and in harsh conditions. The P50 Extinguishers are also made with marine-grade components. They have extinguishing ingredients that are kinder to watercourses and marine wildlife.

No annual servicing miles by an external contractor

The use of P50 extinguishers further reduces carbon emissions as there is no need for a servicing contractor to travel to you site each year to service the P50s. Each unit simply requires a quick visual check by a member of staff annually. This is fully compliant with fire safety legislation in the UK and is due to the unique construction of the units.

Reduce the number of fire extinguishers

P50 Water Mist Fire Extinguishers are very versatile covering all common fire risks and are dielectrically tested, meaning that they can be used on live electrical equipment up to 1kV from a 1m distance. It is usual to find a combination of CO2 and water or CO2 and foam extinguishers in many settings. Traditionally, CO2 extinguishers have been used to tackle electrical fires. Foam or water are used for class A (Solid combustibles like wood and paper) or class B (flammable liquids). The P50 Water Mist Extinguisher can be used to tackle all of these types of fire, making it an ideal substitute for the CO2 and water/foam combination.

One P50 Water Mist Extinguisher can often replace a water and CO2 extinguisher combination

Reducing the number of extinguishers at your premises not only reduces cost. It is also a more environmentally friendly way of operating. The environmental benefits of the P50 extinguishers are industry-leading. They can contribute towards wider business goals such as carbon footprint reduction and environmental policy. Coupled with the huge cost saving benefits, businesses and organisations do not have to choose between eco-friendly vs cost. In the case of the P50, you can have the best of both worlds.

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

Reasonable adjustments and fire safety in education

According to the Equality Act 2010, schools and educational premises have a duty to make reasonable adjustments where necessary for anyone with a disability. So, what is a reasonable adjustment? And, what can schools and universities do to improve access for all and meet fire safety requirements in education?

What is a reasonable adjustment?

The Equality Act 2010 tackles disability discrimination in schools and other organisations or businesses across society. It sets out a responsibility to remove barriers experienced by someone who has a disability. Anyone who has a disability should be able to receive the same service as far as possible as someone who is not disabled. What is considered a ‘reasonable’ adjustment will depend on things like the size of the organisation, and the money and resources available. It will also depend on the needs of the individuals who attend the setting.

Reasonable adjustments and fire safety in education

According to current fire safety regulations, it is the duty of the Responsible Person for the building to provide a fire safety risk assessment that considers the needs of all of its users. It should contain an emergency evacuation plan for all people likely to be on the educational premises. This includes anyone who is disabled or has additional needs. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) also supports these regulations.

Evacuation chairs are a reasonable adjustment
An EVAC+CHAIR can be used to safely evacuate anyone with a permanent or temporary mobility impairment in an emergency

The adjustments you need to make to meet legal requirements for disability and fire safety will depend on what is set out in your fire risk assessment. It will also depend on the needs of the individuals who attend your school or university.

What examples are there of reasonable adjustments in schools or higher education establishments for fire safety?

A reasonable adjustment can be:

  • A change to the way things are done such as a change to a rule or policy. For example, this might involve a change to an escape route.
  • A change to a physical or architectural feature in a building or outside areas. This could include using a fire door retainer on internal fire doors to allow easier access for all or installing visual fire alarm beacons with louder audible sirens for anyone who has a hearing impairment.
  • Provision of extra services or aids. This could include providing an evacuation aid such as an evacuation chair.

The type of changes and extra aids or services will depend entirely on your circumstances and the needs of the individuals who attend your school or university. Fire safety requirements will be set out in detail in your fire risk assessment and should be implemented.

Fire door retainers and the Equality Act 2010

Fire door retainers such as Dorgard are a cost-effective and easy to install solution for improving access for all in schools and universities. Fire doors are a necessity in many buildings but can be a barrier to anyone with a mobility impairment as they are heavy to operate and difficult to manoeuvre in a wheelchair.

fire doors in education
Fire door retainers can improve access for anyone with a mobility impairment

Dorgard is certified and tested to British Standards EN1155:1997 and EN 1634. It is a legal solution for holding open fire doors. This allows easier access for everyone including any disabled users with a mobility impairment. When the fire alarm sounds in your building, Dorgard will release the fire door so that it closes and provides the usual protection. You should never wedge or prop open fire doors using an uncertified device or object. The fire doors will be unable to provide any protection if they are open when a fire starts.

Fire door retainers can be a reasonable adjustment
Dorgard Fire Door Retainers are widely used in education

The University of London’s College Hall has found Dorgard to be an effective solution to accessibility in their building.

“The Dorgard offers a low energy automatic door solution that proved to be the most cost-effective way of improving access and independence for wheelchair users.”

University of London’s College Hall

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

The Importance of Defibrillators at Sports Clubs, Facilities and Gyms

With only a small percentage of sports clubs and gyms having a defibrillator on site, is it an important addition to your sports facility’s first aid provision? We look at the risk posed by cardiac arrest and the life saving potential of defibrillators at sports clubs, gyms or sports centres.

Cardiac arrest at the gym
Having a defibrillator at your local gym could save a life

Why are defibrillators important for sporting clubs or gyms?

Let’s look at the facts:

  • Research shows that over 90% of sudden cardiac arrests in young athletes happen either during or immediately after exercise.
  • The average age of people suffering from a cardiac arrest is between 35 and 44. But, some younger sportspeople may have an undiagnosed heart condition.
  • Apart from injuries that are directly related to the sport being played, cardiac arrest is the most common cause of death in young sports people.

Having an AED close at hand can make all the difference. Research shows that using an AED within 3 to 5 minutes of a cardiac arrest can mean survival rates are as high as 50-70%. Many lives have been saved during sporting activities by having an AED present at the time of cardiac arrest. Parkrun’s collection of stories from cardiac arrest victims highlights the importance of having an AED close by.

Young athlete cardiac arrest
Undiagnosed heart conditions can lead to cardiac arrest in young athletes

Is it a legal requirement for sports clubs or sports centres to have a defibrillator?

Whilst it is not currently a legal requirement in the UK for sports facilities to provide an AED, it is a valuable addition to the wellbeing and protection of sports players, club members and the local community.

Choosing a defibrillator for sports clubs and gyms

Anyone can use an automatic defibrillator – no training is required. They automatically deliver the shock to the heart. It is not possible to make matters worse if they are not used correctly.

Some defibrillators like the Heartsine 360P give better protection from water which may be a consideration if they are likely to be used outside. Look out for the AEDs IP rating which shows the level of protection from dust and water.

Heartsine 360P defibrillator for sports clubs and events
Heatsine 360P Fully Automatic Defibrillator with protective carry case

Consider the location for your AED. It should be easy to find in an emergency so it can be accessed as quickly as possible. The location will also determine whether you need to purchase an external defibrillator cabinet or an internal defibrillator cabinet. If you are locating the AED outside or somewhere like a football clubhouse where the temperature may drop below 8⁰C, then an external storage cabinet is required. These cabinets have integral heating to ensure the defibrillator stays at the optimum temperature.  Because of the heating element, outdoor cabinets need to be installed by an electrician. Internal cabinets are simpler to install, just requiring screwing or bolting into the wall.

For events like Parkrun, marathons or large tournaments, an AED with a portable protective carry case is likely to be a good option. Many defibrillators come with carry cases, but they can also be purchased separately.

Maintaining your defibrillator

Community clubs, sports centres and gyms may be concerned about providing a defibrillator because of the maintenance requirements. Defibrillators self-test on a regular basis. They will flag up any issues, so maintenance of a defibrillator is not as daunting as it may first appear. One of the main things to look out for is expiry dates for pads and batteries.

Set up a regular visual inspection procedure and designate member(s) to carry it out. Use our free defibrillator maintenance checklist to monitor and record inspections.

Any AED will require replacement pads and batteries as these have an expiry date which varies depending on the manufacturer. Some AEDS such as Zoll AED 3 have a 5 year pad and battery life plus if you purchase a defibrillator from Safelincs, you can receive free replacement pads

For complete peace of mind or if there is no one to carry out a visual inspection at your sports facility, we can organise a defibrillator inspection from one of our trained engineers as often as you like.

Defibrillator cost vs benefit

Although the initial outlay for a defibrillator can seem like a lot for a community organisation or sports facility, the potential for being able to offer life-saving treatment makes it a worthy investment. Defibrillators have relatively low maintenance costs and no requirement for training (for a fully automatic defibrillator). So, after the initial installation, AEDs can provide a service to the members and community without having high-cost implications. An important and worthwhile investment!

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.