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March 20, 2023


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UK tenants ‘don’t feel safe’ in their homes due to fire safety concerns, study has found

The majority of UK tenants do not feel safe in their own homes for fears of fire risk, a study has revealed.

New research from Zutec and Createmaster has shown only 40% of tenants surveyed feel completely safe in their homes – while 41% said they have observed fire safety hazards such as non-existent or faulty sprinkler systems, fire alarms or extinguishers and fire escapes being locked or blocked


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In addition, the research by the digital construction solution provider showed 80% of tenants feel that safety issues raised were not responded to or addressed quickly, adequately or effectively enough by the building manager or owner.

Emily Hopson-Hill, Zutec’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “The figures are a stark reminder of the residential fire safety challenge which exists in the UK.

“Most statistics remain unchanged compared to like-for-like consumer research conducted in 2021.

“The 41% of people who have observed or experienced fire safety issues in their building is an improvement on 18 months ago though, when over two-thirds (68%) had.

“It indicates asset owners still have some way to go to assure residents they’re safe in their properties. 

“In the post-Grenfell era it’s a little disappointing, given the mounting regulatory pressure placed on residential property owners and managers to make significant upgrades and improvements, particularly in relation to fire safety.” 

In addition, the research saw only 2% of respondents feel unsafe, but 46% responded they felt ‘somewhat safe’.

Growing awareness of correct fire safety procedures

Tenant and leaseholder awareness of correct fire safety procedures, and who is responsible for them, has increased, with 90% knowing who to approach with their concerns. 

Furthermore, 43% said communication from their asset owner or property manager was excellent – up by 21% on data gathered 18 months ago.

But respondents also flagged a lack of consistency in the information provided by their landlord. For instance 43% of residents have not seen any fire safety certificates in their building – though 44% do have access to certificates, up 11% from 18 months ago.

When asked about the extent to which they felt their voice was being heard concerning fire safety and maintenance issues, less than a quarter (22%) felt ‘very satisfied’, while only 12% were dissatisfied.  

Hopson-Hill added: “Overall the findings do show clear improvements in available and accessible building information, and the results show developers and asset owners are regaining trust with tenants.

“However, data discrepancies remain, residents are becoming increasingly aware of their landlord’s responsibilities and, rightly, expect to live in safe homes. Property owners must now step up and embrace the new regulatory landscape, or get left behind as fire-safe guarantees become non-negotiable for existing and future assets.” 


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