May 23, 2022 3:57 pm

Rental Property Furniture & Furnishings Fire Regulations, and how does a landlord provide fire-safe furniture in their rental property?

As a landlord, understanding Rental Property Furniture & Furnishings Fire Regulations it is your duty in being aware of the safety of your rental property before it is let, and this means adhering to fire regulations that set the levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery.

In this post, we will be looking at some of the Rental Property Furniture and Furnishings Regulations and what they mean for landlords in compliance with The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

First of all, you may very well know about the Regulations that were brought in on the 1st January 1997 to ensure that all rental property was in compliance with The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

As a result, in accordance of the Consumer Protection Act 1987, to cover the ‘hiring or lending’ of specified goods, such as upholstered furniture and certain furnishings ‘within the course of business'.

Which is why rental property was classified as ‘a business’, that the furniture and furnishings that are supplied by landlords in a rental property come under these regulations.

Keeping you in the know

Here you will find examples of furniture and the updates in regulations to help you ensure that your property is safe and meeting the required regulations in keeping your tenants safe.


Upholstered furniture included in lettings must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. These impose the same stringent standards on both new and second-hand furniture.

The Regulations apply to the following:
  • All types of upholstered furniture including - seating, including chairs, armchairs, settees, padded stools, pouffes, padded headboards, convertible furniture such as sofa beds, bed bases, divans, and pillows
  • Nursery and children's furniture, cots, carrycots, playpens, prams, pushchairs, high chairs
  • Scatter cushions, pillows
  • Mattresses, padded bed bases
  • Furniture in caravans
  • Garden furniture suitable for indoor use
The safety provisions require that:
  • Upholstery must pass a specified cigarette test for flammability (not required for mattresses, bed bases, pillows and cushions)
  • The fillings in furniture must pass a specified ignitability test. There are some exemptions (such as filling materials for cushions and pillows) where the cover passes certain ignitability tests
  • Any furniture with permanent covers (excluding mattresses, bed bases and insulated bags designed for carrying babies under six months) must pass specified match tests. In the case of certain natural fibre covers, if there is an interlinear between the furniture and the cover, and the interlinear passes specified ignition resistance tests, the cover itself need not pass the match test
  • An interliner which is a fabric that has been treated with a fire-retardant chemical to reduce the ignitability of the upholstery.

If you are looking to furnish your property with second hand or vintage furniture, you must be mindful that the furniture adheres to the safety standards set out within the regulations for the safety of our tenants. The safest option may be to furnish your property with new furniture just to be on the safe side.

Furniture that has been made before 1 January 1950 that has not been modified is excluded from the controls. Bedding, carpets and curtains are also excluded.

All of the items listed above that you are wishing to supply within your furnished or part furnished rental property must meet specific regulations.

How to tell whether furniture complies.

You should check your furniture to see that a permanent label is present as this is the best way to show compliance. Most furniture should have a label headed 'FIRE RESISTANT' or 'CARELESSNESS CAUSES FIRE' that provides at least the following information:

  • A batch number or identification number
  • An indication as to whether the article of furniture includes an interlinear (treated with a fire retardant substance)
  • A summary of the measures that have been taken to ensure compliance with the Regulations

Permanent labels are usually sewn or stapled to the furniture and they can usually be found either under the main seat cushion or on the base of the furniture.

Mattresses and bed bases are not required to bear this type of label. However, compliance with the ignitability tests may be shown by a label stating compliance with British Standard BS 7177: Specification for resistance to ignition of mattresses, mattress pads, divans and bed bases.

This label has a blue border with white lettering and black cigarette and flame symbols and will be present of furniture that is flame resistant.

Items not bearing any labelling may not conform to the Regulations, and you are advised not to include them in any letting until you have obtained evidence that they comply (for example, from the manufacturer or original supplier).

Electrical Equipment

Within your property, the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 require that all electrical equipment supplied with the accommodation must be safe. If it complies with an acceptable standard, such as a British / European standard, it will normally meet safety requirements.
These safety requirements include:

  • Labelling, construction, design and manufacture
  • Insulation and earthing
  • Protection from electric shock
  • Adequate guards for radiant heaters or moving parts
  • The need to provide instructions for safe use

In general, this means that:

  • Any access to live, hot or moving parts must not be possible without the use of a tool
  • All cable and trunking should be of the double-insulated type, with no basic insulation exposed
  • All wiring must not be damaged in any way
  • Cord grips on appliances must be effective
  • All guards must be in place and effective

One of the main benefits of offering your rental property as unfurnished is that neither you or your tenants have to worry about general wear and tear or damage to items within the property.

However, it is always better to air on the side of caution, so if you are unsure if it will pass a relevant safety regulations, simply do not include it within your property, it is simply not worth the risk imposed to yourself, your tenants or your property.

Plugs and Sockets

Being aware of the safety of your plugs and sockets is a good practice, because even if your property is unfurnished, there will still be certain plugs within the rental property and all of the sockets need to be safe for use. and meet the relevant British or European Standards.

All electrical appliances provided with the rental property have to be correctly fitted with an approved plug - one complying with BS 1363: 13 A plugs, socket-outlets, adaptors and connection units - with sleeved pins.

All plugs should carry the name and reference number of the approved body, normally BSI (British Standards Institution) or ASTA (ASTA Diamond Mark, run by Intertek). The plug does not have to be moulded on but it must have a cord grip to secure the lead going into the plug and have the correct fuse for the appliance.

You can read more about electrical safety here.

Gas Appliances

Gas safety within your property is essential for your property, yourself and your tenants. A gas safety check must be sought for your property every 12 months.

Trading standards services enforce the General Product Safety Regulations 2005, which apply to the safety of gas appliances supplied with the property let. One way to ensure gas appliances are safe is to check they comply with relevant British / European standards. For example, the applicable standard for gas cookers is BS EN 30: Domestic cooking appliances burning gas.
Gas cookers must:

  • Have legible and durable markings on the controls and be marked with the manufacturer's or importer's name
  • Have adequate pan supports
  • Have tap handles that are easy to operate, but not liable to be turned on accidentally
  • Have proper ignition
  • Have effective oven doors that seal in hot gases
  • Have instructions for safe use
  • Have a case that is safe an unable to cause injury by sharp edges
  • The casing must be touch proof, so it does not get hot enough that it causes a burn

You can find more information here about gas safety and landlords obligations here

Other home appliances and equipment

Generally speaking, making a list of all of the items within your property and shed are best practices to go through and ensure that they do indeed meet the relevant safety checks. Here are some other items that are worth considering:

  • Gardening equipment such as mechanical lawnmowers, strimmers, etc must be provided with the necessary guards in place
  • Any chairs, stools and stepladders must be strong enough to support a person's weight
  • Glass furniture or glass within furniture, such as coffee tables, shelving, TV stands etc should satisfy British standards where applicable
  • Laundry items such as ironing boards, clothes dryers, etc should not have sharp edges that could cause injury in normal use
  • Window blinds must have a cord that does not pose a strangulation hazard

For best safe measure, always ensure that your rental property is checked regularly to ensure safety.

For more information on your responsibilities as a landlord, please read here.

Are you sure that your property meets all of the compliance regulations? Non-compliant landlords face up to £30,000 in fines.

Check that you are fully compliant today with our free comprehensice compliance guide, helping to keep landlords, tenants and properties safe.

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