Greater Fire & Carbon Monoxide Protection for Tenants
Legislation is being introduced in October 2015 which changes the base requirements for smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarm provision in rented properties. The new law is intended to address the imbalance between protection levels for private tenants versus owner occupiers, or social housing occupants.
If you live in privately rented accommodation, your landlord may soon be in touch to discuss upgrading your smoke alarm provision and providing a CO alarm. If you are a landlord then make sure you act before October, as those failing to comply with the new regulations could be subject to a £5000 fine. The effects of the legislation are broken down in the table below:
Improving protection levels
Residents of properties left unprotected against fire or carbon monoxide have a much higher than average chance of being injured or killed in their home. Between April 2013 and March 2014, 97 people died and 1900 were injured in domestic fires affecting properties where no smoke alarm was present.
It is also estimated that there are in the region of 50 deaths and over 1100 hospital admissions annually as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Many types of household are already covered by existing legislation, but properties built prior to June 1992 were previously not legally required to have a smoke alarm fitted. The new law will ensure that no rental properties are left unprotected from the risks of fire, and will also significantly improve protection against the equally dangerous carbon monoxide.
Can I install extra smoke alarms?
The more smoke alarms present in a property the better. Multiple alarms increase your chances of saving vital seconds which will aid your escape in the event of a fire. For larger properties, a network of interconnected devices is advisable to ensure the alarm is raised, and audible throughout your home in the event of a fire.
The legislation states that there must be at least one smoke alarm per floor, but many people prefer to site extra alarms within bedrooms for example. Best practice is to make sure that any alarms installed are audible throughout the entire house whether awake or asleep, and sited in appropriate locations to maximise their capacity to pick up smoke.
Smoke alarms should be sited on the ceiling, and no closer than 30cm to walls or light fitting, and tested regularly to ensure they are working.
Who can I contact if I don’t have the right level of protection in place?
Tenants should discuss the situation with their landlords prior to October. Alarms should be in place before the legislation comes into effect, and you may find your landlord is not aware of the changes to the law. If your landlord is unresponsive, or unwilling to install alarms to meet this legislation, report them to your local housing authority.
If you are a landlord, make sure to act in plenty of time. If you need to purchase new or additional alarms, Safelincs are a trustworthy and reliable retailer offering quality advice and an extensive selection of both carbon monoxide and smoke alarms.
Visit Safelincs, or call 0800 612 6537 to purchase, or for more information about smoke and CO alarms.