As a landlord or a tenant, have you ever wondered what smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors you must provide or have fitted within your rented property? The table below sets out these requirements.
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.
How many smoke alarms are required?
The more smoke alarms present in a property the better. Multiple alarms save vital seconds which will aid your tenants’ 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.
For single occupancy homes 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 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.
For HMOs detailed requirements for the different sizes and types of HMO exist. A fire risk assessment must also be carried out in the communal parts of HMOs. See a more detailed guide to fire detection in HMOs.
Who do tenants contact if there is insufficient protection?
Tenants should discuss the situation with their landlord first. If a landlord is unresponsive, or unwilling to install alarms to meet legislation, they can be reported to the local housing authority.