How To Prevent Fire in Your Holiday Home

Written by Nick Grant


Published on 25th September 2018


Last Updated on 27th February 2024


Read time: 5 minutes

smoke alarm

We highlight in this article some relevant steps to take in your UK holiday home to help prevent home fires.

There are many ways a fire could start in your holiday home and knowing what and where the most common fire hazards are can help to reduce potential risks. Have you ever considered the idea of completing your own fire risk assessment for yourself and family or holiday guests?

In terms of holiday home insurance, many insurers will ask whether your property has smoke alarms installed. Safety is a more compelling reason for fitting this security measure than trying to achieve cheaper insurance, did you know smoke alarms raised the alarm in 42% of primary fires in England and Wales 2016-2017 and those fires statistically had less fatalities than those that did not have a smoke alarm present?

If you have separate buildings and contents insurance with different insurers you should contact both providers after a fire, as it is likely that both the structure of your home and your possessions could be affected. After a fire, a property can be uninhabitable for an indeterminate period of time, and your insurance provider could arrange alternative accommodation for you and your family.

fire extinguisher

What is a ‘Safe and Well Visit’?

Did you know many fire and rescue services in the UK offer a free Safe and Well Visit? You could arrange a visit to your property and this visit may be carried out by local firefighters or a dedicated fire safety team. These visits are oriented to identify the potential risks of fire in your holiday property.

For this Safe and Well Visit they may explain what you should do in order to reduce fire risks, put together an escape plan, or ensure you have working smoke alarms, they are always carrying identification and never sell products.

These inspections are orientated to talk about fire safety issues in your home, and covering areas such as electrical safety, smoking, and the use of electric blankets. So another step in these Safe and Well Visits is to check rooms or specific areas where there might be overloaded plug sockets, or ensure the doors are correctly shut. If there’s anything else that needs to be addressed they can advise you how to make your holiday home safer.

If you want to book one of these visits, you can call your local fire and rescue service, find more information on this website.

How to write a Fire Risk Assessment for your Holiday Home

Have you ever wondered what would happen if a fire occurs in your holiday home? As a holiday home owner, you should complete a risk assessment to help prevent fires at your holiday home.

A risk assessment is a document which focuses on potential hazards at your property and it shows you’re taking adequate precautions to remove risks. These fire risk assessments often involve five steps:

Risk Assessment Five Steps:

  1. Identify the hazards in your holiday home: highlight in the assessment the hazards and make the necessary changes (e.g. baths and showers should have non-slip surfaces and mats).
  2. Identify the persons at risk: point out if specific guests more likely to be at risk, such as children, the elderly, or maintenance staff.
  3. Implement safety measures: they can help to minimize the risk (posters, stickers on windows, clear signs around a swimming pool, etc.).
  4. List all the risks and the steps you’ve taken and share them with the people that could be affected; for example, in the guest information booklet.
  5. Review annually: periodical reviews of the risks in any part of your holiday home in which a fire could begin to ensure it is still relevant.

If in doubt seek advice from a professional, such as those whom are members of BAFE (British Approvals for Firefighting Equipment), who can provide advice on fire safety.

What is the most common cause of house fires?

According to the latest Home Office statistics, cooking appliances were the most common source of fire around 50% of accidental fires in the period of April 2016 and March 2017 in the UK.


There are other common causes of houses:

  1. Smoking. A cigarette that is not put out properly can cause a flame.
  2. Electrical appliances. Faulty, old, or outdated appliances (in cords or switches) can spark and start a fire.
  3. Extension cords. Health and Safety Executive recommend using extension cords as a temporary measure only and not for a long length of time.
  4. Candles. If left unattended, candles can be extremely dangerous anywhere. Extinguish candles if you leave a room, and never locate them close to flammable items (books, tablecloths, etc.).
  5. Flammable liquids at home or garage. Petrol or other flammable products must being kept away from heat sources. Be careful when pouring these liquids and always check the label before storing.

The above precautions are a good guide to help avoid a fire in your holiday home. You might also be interested in helping protect your properties and yourself with holiday home insurance for unexpected events like if a fire were to happen.

*The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.

Nick Grant is a Business Development Manager at Intasure with 10 years of insurance experience.