Smoke Detector Requirements for 3 bedroom Flat

by Readers Question

9:41 AM, 5th October 2017
About 3 years ago

Smoke Detector Requirements for 3 bedroom Flat

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Smoke Detector Requirements for 3 bedroom Flat

I have a 3 bedroom Victorian purpose built (not a flat conversion) ground floor terrace flat which I let as a flatshare to 3 friends.

I understand that makes it a non-regulated HMO.

My estate agent says the property only requires battery operated smoke detectors.

Reading various articles in the internet, I am confused as to whether mains connected smoke detectors are required. Is anyone able to give a clear answer?

Many thanks



Michael Freer

12:42 PM, 6th October 2017
About 3 years ago

Hello Jon

No insult or slight was intended, it was simply stirring the pot by giving a perspective.

The time taken to seek clarity, that may never completely arrive, (some say CO monitors are only required where solid fuel burners are present, yet Peterborough Council Landlord Licensing Scheme insist one is present where there is a gas boiler too) is to me time wasted. Putting wired smoke and heat detectors in, meets with the "common" view of being safe and is relatively cheap; having this would probably give you adequate (there is no cast-iron guarantee) defence should you ever end up in court.

You may need to add things in the future as and when there is a nationwide standard created. Until then enjoy the peace of mind that you've done what the majority of LL's on here would do and get on with growing your property business. You could always go with the wireless option and probably get away with it, my view on this is my mobile will choose to "lose the signal" at the most inappropriate times a landline can be relied on 99.9999% of the times to not disconnect you.

Your personality may mean that you need to gain a full picture and that's OK, some might say I'm too laid back, we are all different.

If you do continue your quest, thank you for being so diligent and persistent and if you do uncover the categoric answers so many others also crave in this area, it would be really appreciated if you could post something on this site for others to reference.

Rob Crawford

14:08 PM, 6th October 2017
About 3 years ago

Hi Jon, I'm not sure but I think you are falling into a trap that many landlords fall victim of. Essentially there are regulations that have to be complied with, you understand that. However, just because there is no regulation does not mean that you do nothing. Use the regulations and guides that you are now familiar with and conduct a fire risk assessment specific to your building, heating system and tenants etc. Your risk assessment will determine what you should do where regulation does not apply. A good example is carbon monoxide detectors/alarms. There is no regulation that states you need one for a gas boiler, however, a risk assessment will identify a carbon monoxide risk. As such you (nobody else) need to consider a measure of the threat impact (death) and likelihood of occurrence. You, as the responsible person, then decide whether to install one.


9:51 AM, 7th October 2017
About 3 years ago

By law, we private landlords in Scotland need to install hard wired interlinked smoke detectors, heat detector in the kitchen and a co2 detector where there is gas installed plus EICR, pat test (strange how the tenants stuff doesn't need pat tested), CP12, need to be licensed etc etc yet the council houses don't need any of it - I don't even need it in my own house.
Bizarre but good to be a good landlord I suppose.

Unregistered landlords don't bother though and getting the landlord registration to challenge them and collect the £50k fine for unregistered landlords falls on deaf ears!

Who else would turn down a £50k bounty when given the name and address!

It is all about cashing in on the good guys, leaving the bad guys to do what they like as always!

Jireh Homes

18:11 PM, 7th October 2017
About 3 years ago

Supplement to comments by Mia. Scottish Government are currently undergoing consultation on extending the fire and CO alarm regulations required in homes under PRS to both Social Housing and to Owner Occupiers! There are also proposals to interlink alarms between flats within a block!!!!!.

However one good suggestion in the Consultation Paper is that 10 year sealed battery powered and interlinked fire alarms be an acceptable alternative to hard-wired. Which is tough for all us LL who have paid out for an electrician to install wired design but now that the technology has advanced a sensible option.

A CO alarm (7 year long life battery) is a no brainer in any house having a flue (gas boiler / fire), as is a heat detector alarm in the kitchen.

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