Health and Safety Checks

by Readers Question

11:22 AM, 28th September 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Health and Safety Checks

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Health and Safety Checks

Thought I send you my recent observation on H&S with fire prevention awareness week coming up shortly. I manage my properties and have been doing my pre-winter and H&S checks. I managed to see 6 tenants the other day so have now acquired few repair jobs (deep joy).

What really surprised me was that out of the 6 properties:
– 1 had an expired CO2 detector (merrily bleeping away),
– 2 had a missing or broken smoke detector,
– 1 had 2 of 3 smoke detectors not working (no battery or with battery fitted incorrectly !)
– 1 had no working smoke detectors – one missing, one broke (I let this chap off as he has learning disability and was trying to replace batteries).

So that’s most of them not to legal standards, so I replaced batteries and fitted 4 new smoke detectors and 1 new Co2 detector.

Most of these tenants are intelligent working people with young children but none of them knew about the legal requirements and seemed very blasé about the risks. Now I know that its landlord responsibility to have workable detectors at the start of a tenancy and a reasonable expectation for tenants to check/renew batteries which can be included within your tenancy agreement. Nevertheless we all know that if there is an incident it’ll be down to the landlord to prove innocence.

I was surprised at the situation I discovered which is probably a bit exceptional, nevertheless, it’s a reminder to check alarms regularly or get your agent to do so. You just can’t reply on your tenants doing this (without breaking or losing them!).

ps Great website, great advice and campaigns, keep up the good work.

Adrian



Comments

Neil Patterson

11:23 AM, 28th September 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Many thanks Adrian 🙂

JB

12:17 PM, 28th September 2018
About 2 weeks ago

To avoid having to replace batteries and for peace of mind I have installed hard wired alarms with 10 year lithium backup batteries in all my properties.

Annie Landlord

12:56 PM, 28th September 2018
About 2 weeks ago

I also have 10 year smoke alarms, but if a tenant decides to take one down, or it malfunctions and they don't notify the landlord, how are we supposed to know? Had a tenant who took one down - to hang Christmas decorations (!) couldn't find it after Christmas and was a 'bit embarrassed' so didn't tell me. Duh!

Laura Delow

13:47 PM, 28th September 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Annie Landlord at 28/09/2018 - 12:56
Only way you'd know is to check them at Interim Inspections (we do quarterly in the tenant's first year & 6 monthly thereafter unless quarterly are still required e.g. we have a tenant with Parkinsons so we help her out by keeping an eye on her more regularly)

Jireh Homes

4:10 AM, 1st October 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Good reminder on the importance of regular inspection visits and operational checks. Even with hard wired long life fire alarms, many will soon be close to expiry as installed 10 years ago so good idea to also record when due for renewal.

Annie Landlord

14:43 PM, 1st October 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Yes I agree that 6 monthly inspections are a good idea. But a lot can happen in 6 months!

Pete Judd

13:39 PM, 2nd October 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Tenants may seem to be sensible but often aren't. I get an alarm company to inspect my HMOs and invariably find at least one detector covered. One time they found a sock on every detector because one of the tenants was notoriously bad at cooking toast!
My alarm systems record the events, which is very useful to identify where there is a persistent fault (or someone is smoking wacky baccy which seems to set them off). Getting tenants to keep a log is impossible and I have given up on that a long time ago.?

___ baldelectrician

8:20 AM, 6th October 2018
About A week ago

I stay in Scotland where mains detectors are the requirement.
I use Aico ones which are good- Aico have introduced a new range (the 3000 range).
The new range is good for landlords as it is a 10 year mains with a 10 year rechargeable battery- the best selling point is that the detector has a free app that lets the landlord or electrician download the history of the detector '
The app tells (amongst other things)
How many times the test button was pressed
Last time the power was cut- and when
If the detector has been removed- and when
For heat alarms- the current, max and min temperatures
The level of dust contamination on the detector
For CO alarms- peak, current levels as well as when this happened
Quite good when a tenant complains of a detector going off and it wasn't the landlords one- now you can prove it.


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