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 John Walker

17:20 PM, 16th March 2015, About 7 years ago

A few years ago I had smoke alarms that are integral with a light fitting installed in my flats, just in the hallway of each s/c flat. They are not interlinked with alarms in the other flats in the buildings. I don't know whether they are still legal, but they do avoid problems with flat or removed batteries

by Gary Nock

17:27 PM, 16th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "james pearce" at "16/03/2015 - 12:46":

Thanks James. actually Heat Detectors make more sense in some respects as they should not be set off accidentally...until the tenant puts the oven on!!!

But if there is some smoke without a big increase in heat then the tenants can still get overpowered by the smoke.

Just wondering this applies to Local Authorities or is it just us Private Sector Landlords who are liable?

by Michael Bond

17:39 PM, 16th March 2015, About 7 years ago

This is a sensible measure about something I am sure most landlords do anyway. Just consider your position nowadays if your tenant were to die in a fire or by Carbon Monoxide poisoning if you did not have detectors in place. But: is the same requirement to be imposed by law on the providers of Social Housing?

by Gary Nock

17:42 PM, 16th March 2015, About 7 years ago

I make a point on my inspections to demonstrate due diligence as I should both as a landlord and as a Property Manager. I check visually all sockets and light fittings for evidence of overload i.e. too many extension sockets on a single socket, scorching, loose sockets and light switches. Appliances - both landlords and tenants for same. And - even the old Legionnaires Check for the hot water tanks and giving the tenant advice on running their conventional hot water system for an hour a day over 60 degrees to kill any contamination, and checking that the header tanks are below 21 degrees. As per HSE Guidance.

And smoke alarms.

I loose track of the number of times I do a check and the batteries are removed.(I carry spares) On wired systems even dismantled.

I get the tenant to sign I have done the inspection, and what I have found. They they get a letter telling them what I have found and if I find the smoke detector removed or disabled more than once then I serve a Section 21 Notice telling them that what they are doing breaches their tenancy agreement, puts their life in danger, and places me under a duty of care. That if it is found a third time then they are on their bikes. A bit Draconian you may say. Well rather that than a frazzled tenant.

by Tony Atkins

10:32 AM, 17th March 2015, About 7 years ago

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

Michael - I wasn't moaning at all, but pointing out that if the intention is supposedly to save deaths by fire, why are owner-occupiers allowed to have the "right to live as dangerously as they like"? What if there are children living in the house, or guests staying overnight? Why should the occupancy status of a property trump the right of children or guests to live in a house protected by smoke and CO alarms? I'm objecting to the inconsistency of the legislation and its supposed intent, not the safety requirements themselves.

by Ian Cognito

11:24 AM, 17th March 2015, About 7 years ago

In practice, testing either a smoke/heat/CO alarm will normally involve only pressing a test button to confirm that batteries and siren are OK.

Does any landlord do a proper test to ensure that the alarms actually work correctly by sensing smoke/heat/CO?

Certainly, holding a lit candle, or an extinguished candle, close to a heat or smoke alarm respectively should set them off, but this is very unscientific as temperature and amount of smoke are variable.

With regard to CO testing, I have seen aerosols advertised but do not know how reliable they are.

Is there a simple, inexpensive, recognised method of testing smoke/heat/CO alarms that an untrained private landlord can carry out as part of an annual inspection or when there is a change of tenant?

by John Daley

14:36 PM, 17th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Bond" at "16/03/2015 - 17:39":

Hi Michael,

I don't think that there is a social landlord that does not fit smoke alarms, failure to provide them would provoke regulatory action.

CO alarms are a bit more of a mixed picture but if the rules don't exclude the social sector then it will apply there as well.

by Property Buyer

11:17 AM, 19th March 2015, About 7 years ago

At the risk at sounding stupid...what about putting CO detectors in the room where the boiler is?

by Gary Nock

11:25 AM, 19th March 2015, About 7 years ago

This is what the Bill says. bear in mind it hasn't got Royal Assent yet so may change:

1.63 The carbon monoxide detector shall be located in the same
room as the appliance—
(a) on the ceiling at least 300mm from any wall or, if it is
located on a wall as high up as possible (above any
doors and windows) but not within 150mm of the
ceiling; and
(b) between 1m and 3m horizontally from the appliance.

So if we do decide to install, then make sure its in compliance with that or it will more than likely fail the gas check

by Romain Garcin

11:36 AM, 19th March 2015, About 7 years ago

I believe that this is in line with existing regulations on CO detectors, which, iirc, are that for all new installations a CO detector must be installed in the room where the appliance is located.

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