Health & Safety in Bed and Breakfast Establishments


This information produced by the Food and Occupational Health Team provides guidance on the food safety and health and safety requirements that apply to Bed and Breakfasts (B & Bs). This information does not cover fully those B & B's that do evening meal food preparation or that employ any members of staff.

For further information or advice please do not hesitate to contact your Local Environmental Health Department. See also the link to B & Bs relating to food safety below.

Health & Safety

The main legislation is the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 under which a number of specific regulations are made.

3 or more letting rooms - the Local Authority are the enforcing authority and an Inspector will carry out health and safety inspections to assess compliance with the relevant legislation. This visit will usually be combined with the routine food hygiene inspection.

2 or less letting rooms do not come under the Local Authority for inspection purposes due to their classification as a domestic property for whom which the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are the enforcing authority.

Inspection Topics

As the Proprietor of the business you are legally required to carry out a careful examination of what, in your business, could cause harm to people. (i.e. risk assessments) This will include identifying the hazards, and assessing the risks, deciding whether the existing precautions are adequate or whether more should be done to prevent harm. These findings should be reviewed on a regular basis.

The following are examples of the areas and questions you should consider;

  • Slips, trips and falls; Are the floor surfaces of a suitable material.
  • Are floor coverings securely fitted.
  • Are trailing cables suitably secured.
  • Are access and escape routes kept clear from obstruction.
  • Changes in level; i.e. step near a door or low beams.
  • Can they be highlighted or suitably signed in any way to make residents aware of the hazard, or pointing these areas out on arrival.

Lighting: Are there any areas where the lighting is poor and could be improved.

Fire: If 6 or more letting rooms then a fire certificate is required.
Consider possible ignition sources within the premises, are they suitably controlled.
What are your emergency procedures for evacuation.
For further information contact the Fire Service on 01900 602543

Manual Handling: When moving equipment and laundry, can it be done in a more appropriate or safer way, for example reducing or sharing the load.

Cleaning Chemicals: Identify the cleaning chemicals that you use, how they should be used and if any personal protective clothing e.g. gloves are required.

Ventilation: Adequate ventilation must be provided either by natural means i.e. opening window or mechanical extract fan to any bathrooms and the kitchen area.

Low windows: Suitably assess the position of any low opening windows, where a young child may have access then consider the use of a restrictor on the window to prevent the child possibly climbing or falling out. Where the bottom edge of an opening window is less than 800mm from the floor then consider a barrier across to prevent any fall through the window.

First Aid: Adequate first aid provisions must be available along with emergency contact details. Contact the Local Authority for further information on the accidents or incidents which may be reportable.

Electricity: Damage to electrical equipment and around 95% of faults can be found just by looking, which you could do on a regular basis if you have enough knowledge and experience to know what to look for. Switch off, disconnect the plug and look for signs of:

  • Damage to the cable covering;
  • Damage to the plug;
  • Non-standard joint, i.e. taped joints in the cable;
  • Exposure of the coloured insulation wires;
  • Equipment being used in unsuitable conditions, e.g. wet environment;
  • Damage to the equipment itself;
  • Overheating (burn marks or staining);

It is recommended that an annual inspection is carried out as follows:

  • Remove the plug cover and check that;
  • A correct rated fuse is being used;
  • The cord grip is holding the outer part (sheath) of the cable tightly;
  • The wires are attached to the correct terminals;
  • There is no sign of internal damage, overheating or entry of liquid, dust or dirt.
  • These checks should be carried out for all portable electrical appliances (kettles, lamps, alarm clocks, heaters, toasters etc) and also any extension leads that are used.
  • Any multi adapters that are used should be independently fused, and placed so as to prevent any damage to them.

It is strongly recommended that these checks are documented.


Ensure gas fittings and flues are maintained in a safe condition;

An annual safety check must be carried out on each gas appliance. This would include a gas central heating system and boiler, and any gas fires available for use in any areas where residents have access. Any other gas equipment such as a gas cooker should also be on a service plan as recommended by the manufacturer;

These checks must be carried out by a CORGI registered gas installer

Keep a record (detailed inspection report) of each safety check for two years.

Have the certificate on display or available for inspection.

Leaflets Available

An Introduction to Health and Safety.
Stating Your Business.
5 Steps to Risk Assessment.
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health.
RIDDOR explained.
First Aid.
Maintaining portable Electrical Equipment in Hotel and Tourist Accommodation.
Gas Appliances Get them checked , keep them safe.
Manual Handling.
Slips, Trips, and Falls.
An Inspector Calls.

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Copeland District Council logo   Eden District Council logo


Contact us

0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ