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Health and Safety Requirements for B&B Accommodation

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 22 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
B&b Safety Health Accommodation

Health and safety rules and regulations cannot be avoided when you're running any sort of business where the public are on your property. A bed and breakfast will present a number of areas where you are likely to have to modify or enhance the accommodation to comply.

Unfortunately, in this litigation conscious age, those rules and regulations are getting more widespread and more complicated and that's a trend that's unlikely to go into reverse at any time in the near future. There are three main areas that you need to concern yourself with, fire safety, cooking and kitchens, then other areas of the accommodation that guests can access.

Fire!

Fire safety is probably the most important issue. Quite apart from the danger to life, many businesses that suffer fires never trade again. You must contact your local fire authority and inform them that you are going to be running a B&B. The mainstay of fire safety used to be the inspection by the fire safety officer but new regulations in 2006 now mean that you have to perform a risk assessment.

Leaflets to help you do this are available from the fire authority in your region and in some cases can be downloaded from their websites. There will still be regular accommodation inspections and there is now considerable concern that many B&B's will be classed in the same bracket as hotels. This may mean having to install complex and expensive systems such as emergency lighting and sprinkler systems. If you are about to embark on a conversion of a property into a B&B it's strongly advised that you get professional advice about this before beginning the work.

Kitchen Health and Safety Requirements

In kitchens the issues are two-fold; there are the health risks associated with improper storage, preparation and cooking of food and the health risks in terms of injury to you and other staff while working there. Health and safety with regard to food can cover the following:

  • Equipment cleaning and care
  • Disposal of food waste
  • Quality of the water supply
  • Food and personal hygiene
  • Protection against contamination

There are too many areas to cover in detail in this article but training about cleanliness and health hazards as well as personal injury risks in the kitchen is strongly advised. Remember the damage that can be done to your business if you are, rightly or wrongly, accused of being responsible for a food poisoning incident.

General Health and Safety Around the B&B

In other areas the requirements are to either remove hazards or make them obvious to guests so that they can avoid them. So for example, plate glass patio doors in a dining room or lounge should have the correct strength of glass and frame. They may also need a pattern embossed or stuck on them so that people can see when they are closed. Baths and showers should have non-slip surfaces and mats.

The way to approach these various hazards is to do an assessment by yourself or, preferably, by a trained health and safety professional. It's worth getting someone else to do it as they will spot hazards that you will no longer be aware of, having got used to them over time. The assessment will identify areas where action will need to be taken.

First Aid Requirements

Finally, although it's not a legal obligation to be able to administer first aid skills to guests, it is almost certainly a moral one. So it's well worth investing in training for all the people who are involved in running the business full-time, and making sure that the first aid kit is up-to-date and well stocked at all times.

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[Add a Comment]
My parents just bought a B&B and were told by previous owners that they can only advertise 2 rooms because of some sort of rugulation. Is this true? And what needs to be done to be able to advertise all 5 bedrooms?
Krissy - 22-Jun-17 @ 3:32 PM
Phoenix lodge in Watford should be closed down, smoke alarms covered up with plastic bags, kitchen a health hazard, bathroom disgusting, my 6 year old son wee's in a bucket as is to scared to go to the bathroom, this place should not be trading. CLOSE IT DOWN!!!
sam - 14-Sep-16 @ 3:41 PM
Farhan - Your Question:
I am living in bed and breakfast accommodation from last 2 months. Every week hot water stops for two days. It's now a winter And I have kids age 4 and 7. It's very difficult to live without hot water. Is there any law for this issue and if there is then who to complain. Other people who living here longer then us they said that its the owner who turned the boiler off by purpose so that people use less water. There are elderly people living here aswell. Please advise what I can do.

Our Response:
You could always look for an alternative B&B to stay in. A landlord who loses business will have to improve or close down.
StartABedAndBreakfast - 22-Oct-15 @ 10:39 AM
I am living in bed and breakfast accommodation from last 2 months. Every week hot water stops for two days. It's now a winter And I have kids age 4 and 7. It's very difficult to live without hot water. Is there any law for this issue and if there is then who to complain. Other people who living here longer then us they said that its the owner who turned the boiler off by purpose so that people use less water. There are elderly people living here aswell. Please advise what I can do.
Farhan - 20-Oct-15 @ 8:21 PM
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