Private landlords in Staffordshire may soon be forced to take steps to ensure their properties are up to scratch when it comes to fire regulations.

Cannock Chase council has announced the launch of an initiative to inspect all houses in multiple occupation in the area to improve fire safety.

The authority claims that the risk of death as a result of fire is multiplied by more than eight times compared to that of a single family home.

As a result, it will be looking to improve standards by enforcing licensing, issuing legal notices and even closing down the most dangerous properties.

Cannock Fire Services area commander Stuart Cloughton said there are a number of precautions that should be laid out in shared accommodation.

"Working smoke alarms should be fitted to every floor of the property and all occupiers should have an escape plan which should include an agreed place for window and door keys to be kept,"he said.

Birmingham city council also announced plans to improve safety and living standards in the area recently, with one rogue landlord fined almost £15,000 as part of the clampdown.ADNFCR-2002-ID-18976290-ADNFCR

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