Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is working in partnership with Tourism NI to offer practical advice and ensure accommodation premises comply with fire safety legislative requirements for those planning to rent their property or provide sleeping accommodation for paying guests during The 148th Open, Royal Portrush.
Owners of bed and breakfasts, properties advertised via Airbnb and other online platforms, guest houses, self-catering accommodation and those considering providing sleeping accommodation for the many guests and visitors expected to attend The 148th Open, Royal Portrush, next July, must be certified by Tourism NI in order to operate legally. They must also ensure their premises have met the required standards of fire safety.
Geoff Somerville, Group Commander, NIFRS said:
“With The 148th Open, Royal Portrush expected to attract thousands of visitors to the North Coast, many people may consider renting their property or becoming tourist accommodation providers. NIFRS is working in partnership with Tourism NI to remind existing and new accommodation providers of fire safety legislation and their legal responsibilities to protect the public from the risk of fire in their premises.
“Accommodation providers must ensure that their premises reach the required fire safety standard. They do this by undertaking a fire risk assessment to ensure the appropriate measures are in place to reduce the risk of fire and to enable people to evacuate safely in the event of a fire. Providers should ensure that they have working smoke alarms fitted appropriately throughout the premises; internal doors are solid timber; exit doors can be easily opened from the inside while the premises are occupied and should prepare an emergency fire action plan which clearly identifies the route of escape, how to raise the alarm, ensuring all guests are evacuated and calling the Fire & Rescue Service.”
“A Community Information Bulletin providing advice and guidance for The 148th Open, Royal Portrush, accommodation providers on their fire safety responsibilities is available on our website https://tinyurl.com/y93cm229
“As the enforcing authority, it’s important that those offering accommodation are aware of their responsibilities, that their premises may be inspected and that failing to meet statutory fire safety legislation may lead to prosecution.”
Cathy McCormick, Tourism NI Quality & Standards Schemes Coordinator, said:
“We’re delighted with the level of interest amongst accommodation providers in the Causeway Coast area and we expect 2019 to be a huge year for tourism with The 148th Open taking place in Portrush next July.
Tourism NI is encouraging anyone who has not yet applied for certification to do so soon, as becoming certified will provide transparency and confidence to customers and the industry as a whole. The certification process is simple and cost-effective and it’s about protecting the operator as well as the consumer, with a focus on a safe, clean and legal accommodation.
“In addition to certification, Tourism NI also offers a wide range of business advice including grading, marketing and business developments which start-ups can avail of on our website,” she added.
Apply to register your property at www.tourismni.com/forms
Further information on setting up and operating tourist accommodation can be found at: www.tourismni.com/startup-advice