It is expected from 1st October 2015 new regulations will come into force requiring all private rental landlords in England (excluding those that are registered providers of social housing) to ensure smoke alarms are installed on every storey of their property and that a carbon monoxide detector is provided in any room which contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.
The regulations are looking to prevent up to 24 deaths and 670 injuries a year as studies show you are four times more likely to die in a house fire if you don’t have a working smoke alarm.
Those landlords who fail to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms would face sanctions and could face up to a £5,000 civil penalty.
The duties within these new regulations are for a landlord to ensure that:-
- A smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of the premises which wholly or partly used as living accommodation
- A Carbon Monoxide alarm is equipped in any room which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance and
- The smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms are in proper working order at the start of any new tenancy
When determining a storey or room, a bathroom or lavatory is to be treated as a room used as living accommodation. As a result, a half landing containing a bathroom or toilet alone would be counted as a storey and require a smoke alarm.
The full effects of the legislation are shown in the table below:-
Together with the regulations it is strongly recommended when purchasing a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarms that they comply with the relevant BSEN Standards and which have the BSI Kitemark and CE mark. It is important that they are installed, used and maintained in compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions and that a copy of the user guide and instruction manual is provided to the tenants.
The Government has continued to promote the Fire Kills campaign which provides more advice and information on the importance of fire safety.