New regulations re Smoke and CO alarms

New regulations re Smoke and CO alarms

10:10 AM, 14th March 2015, About 7 years ago 63

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What are peoples thoughts on the new legal requirements to install new smoke and CO alarms? New regulations re Smoke and CO2 alarms

Smoke and CO alarms new requirement

The Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis announced yesterday that landlords will be required to have both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms installed in all rental properties.

The changes are scheduled to come into effect soon after their Parliamentary approval, on 10 October 2015.

Fire and rescue authorities will be directed to provide support with the implementation – providing local private landlords with free alarms.

Brandon Lewis commented:

“In 1988 just 8% of homes had a smoke alarm installed – now it’s over 90%.

The vast majority of landlords offer a good service and have installed smoke alarms in their homes, but I’m changing the law to ensure every tenant can be given this important protection.

But with working smoke alarms providing the vital seconds needed to escape a fire, I urge all tenants to make sure they regularly test their alarms to ensure they work when it counts. Testing regularly remains the tenant’s responsibility.”

The move will help prevent up to 36 deaths and 1,375 injuries a year.

Expectations of a landlord  –

  • Smoke alarms installed on every floor of the rental property, and test them at the start of every tenancy.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms in all high risk rooms – such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed.

Landlord failing to meet the new regulations could face a maximum £5,000 civil penalty.




by james pearce

12:46 PM, 16th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Gary - ref: your comment.Don’t know what you mean by “heat detectors”
Heat detectors are generally installed in a kitchen and I believe (don't quote me) can be wired to the lighting circuit.
As the name suggests they operate differently to smoke detectors.
The theory being that smoke detectors are a bit of a nuisance in the kitchen and if they're a nuisance they get disabled. A heat detector will not go off when you burn your toast but if the room gets too hot it will.
Many smoke alarms now have an expiry date and a non-replaceable battery. The interlinked ones are a different ball game altogether.......
as for co2 detectors thats something I have to look in to.

by Tony Atkins

13:01 PM, 16th March 2015, About 7 years ago

I'm pleased the detectors don't have to be interlinked in England, as this is an expensive time-consuming job, especially if you have to install a new consumer unit. It requires access to loft spaces and ceilings from above (removing furniture, carpets, floorboards) if you don't want hideous surface-mounted electrical trunking cluttering up your walls and ceilings.

As usual there is no evidence cited that private-sector rental properties are uniquely vulnerable to fires and CO leaks. if the intent is to save lives, the logical next step would be to require annual gas safety inspections and smoke and CO detectors in all houses, not just rental ones. The fact that no government is prepared to take on such a vote-losing proposal shows that owner-occupier property rights trump health and safety, at least in this area. In the meantime landlords can comfort themselves by telling their tenants that they are far better protected against fire and carbon monoxide hazards than most owner-occupiers in their own homes.

by Adrian Jones

13:03 PM, 16th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Brilliant article and lots of helpful advice. I own a flat in a block of twenty in Cornwall. We have a formal Management Company and there are four Directors all of which are owners.

Does anyone know whether we have any responsibility to ensure the alarms are fitted.


by Denise G

13:04 PM, 16th March 2015, About 7 years ago

and maybe even some landlords themselves and elderly home owners (some of whom are apparently even landlords too!!) It all beggars belief tbh - on the radio the other day they were discussing requiring landlords to check their older tenants electrical appliances too - madness!

by Michael Barnes

13:53 PM, 16th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tony Atkins" at "16/03/2015 - 13:01":

You can buy batery-powered radio-linked smoke detectors (I don't know about heat detectors, though) for about £30 each. I have these fitted in one of my flats.

It is my understanding that these will be legal in England under the proposals, but I do not know about Scotland.

I believe CO detectors should not be linked, because one needs to know which room has the problem.

by Ann Diamond

13:59 PM, 16th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Last year I battled for five months to remove a bad tenant. I was only saved from going completely round the bend by reading other people's experiences on this site.
The tenant had trashed the property and thrown away the smoke alarms because they were the sort that you couldn't remove the batteries from.
He contacted the council well after the date he should have moved out and complained that the property was not fit to live in. All part of his ploy to get council accommodation I think.
They did an inspection and I got a very formal letter demanding that certain things should be done but not mentioning the lack of smoke alarms.
The fact that the tenant had done a lot of the damage himself and had not allowed myself nor my workmen inside for months did not seem to mitigate in my favour.
The tenant was rehoused by the council three days before the bailiff was due to visit to evict him.
No account was taken of the state in which he had left the house and gardens and he was rehoused into a newly decorated bungalow whilst I was left to clear up the mess he had left behind.
All the time we seem to be subjected to more and more regulation in a situation where we often have little control.
Its about time that some responsibility should be taken by the tenant for the way they choose to live.

by Michael Barnes

14:00 PM, 16th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tony Atkins" at "16/03/2015 - 13:01":

The point is that in your own property you have the right to live as dangerously as you like.

Tenants may not have the choice about fitting alarms if none or present, nor the money to fit them and be kicked out a copule of months later and get no further benefit from fitting them.

The (proposed) regulations are bringing let housing into line with new build housing. Essentially it is saying "anyone who prepares a property for someone else to live in must have adequate fire and CO detection facilities in place".
Builders don't moan about it:they get on and do it.

by Romain Garcin

14:06 PM, 16th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "16/03/2015 - 14:00":

"Builders don’t moan about it:they get on and do it."

Well yes, as it allows them to make some extra money.

I'm sure all landlords would stop moaning instantly if their tenants were in effect obliged to pay for the installation of smoke/CO detectors. 😉

by Michael Barnes

14:16 PM, 16th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Julie Ford" at "16/03/2015 - 09:04":

It's not a sneaky government, it's the rules of parliament.

The rules say that a bill must be passed within 12 months of being introduced (with a short extension available in some cases) or it falls. Also it must be passed in the same session of Parliament (typically November to November) in which it is introduced, unless Parliament agrees it can be carried over to the next session.

The Bill Gary found was introduced in the last session of parliament and failed to be carried over, hence it will go no further.
The bill Julie has found is still technically active, but is unlikely to get much further before falling.
Both Bills are Private Member's Bills and are nothing to do with the Government.

I believe that the regulations to be introduced are under powers given by existing Acts, and are not linked to any Bill currently before parliament.

by Alan Loughlin

15:07 PM, 16th March 2015, About 7 years ago

no need for legislation here, it is already done, but what is obvious is the bias displayed, as mentioned by another previously, there is no mention of any tenant responsibility, I too find at each changeover batteries missing, units missing, what is the point of more legislation against the landlord if the tenants do not play their part.

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