An MP has gained support for proposals to make carbon monoxide (CO) alarms compulsory in any room of a rented property containing a fuel-burning appliance.

As the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 currently stand, landlords are only required to install CO alarms in rooms where there is a solid-fuel appliance such as a wood burner or open fire, and checked at the beginning of each tenancy.

But MP Stephanie Peacock (main pic), Labour’s Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, told parliament that following several tragic cases, rooms containing gas-burning appliances such as boilers should also be fitted with the alarms, and the requirement made compulsory.

Currently, the government’s own guidance is that it only ‘expects and encourages’ reputable landlords to fit alarms in room containing gas appliances.

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“Many campaigns, such as CO-Gas Safety, led by its hard-working president, Stephanie Trotter, and the all-party parliamentary carbon monoxide group, and many survivors and victims’ families have lobbied the Government for decades to raise awareness and change the law, with very limited success,” she said.

“That is where the law is incredibly weak. We know that gas appliances can and sometimes do emit deadly carbon monoxide gases.”

She also said that a government consultation on the matter, which closed in January this year, has yet to produce any action from within Whitehall.

Property installation

Following her remarks, Minister Paul Scully – whose BEIS department has responsibility for this issue – revealed that a cross-Whitehall group had by coincidence met earlier this week to discuss the issue of carbon monoxide poisonings which, although in decline, still kill 50 people a year and hospitalise hundreds.

“I reiterate that carbon monoxide alarms are a useful additional precaution, but they are not a substitute for proper installation, maintenance and the safety checks of combustion appliances,” he said.

“We say to landlords: ensure that you know the legal and moral obligations on you towards the safety of your tenants from the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

carbon monoxide

Conservative MP Peter Bottomley (pictured), who has been campaigning on the issue for many years, said: “May I suggest to the Minister that he invite Stephanie Trotter, who has been doing this work for 25 years, and representatives of the all-party group to a meeting with him, advised by the HSE, along with the National Residential Landlords Association?

“If the good landlords are doing what they should, the bad ones need to be encouraged.”

Read more about CO alarms.

10 COMMENTS

  1. If it’s such a danger shouldn’t ALL properties, whether rented, holiday lets, yurts, hot tents, etc., or owned, have alarms in every room and should be fitted at the time of installation and for those who already have them, public info adverts in the media?

  2. How many more laws and regulations are we going to see?

    We are fitting in CO alarm, now they want on in every room.

    I have tenants throw away smoke alarms and CO alarms. It is has cost me hundreds of pounds over the years. What protection is for landlords when this happens? It is a waste of my money.

    Sometimes, these CO alarms, give false alarms (confused with battery low warning) and they call the gas company, only for the gas company to turn off and cap the gas meter. They don’t check if the CO was real or not. You have to call the gas engineer to uncap the gas meter. Get a new gas certificate. All because the tenant did n’t check the battery.

    They keep introducing rules every couple of months. When will it stop.

  3. So how many of the 50 deaths were in a rented property. Unless specified then any new regulation is nonsence.

    Surely all privately owned properties should all be subject to the same safety regulations as the rented ones.
    Or don’t rich peoples lives matter?
    A discriminatory two tier system if ever there was one.
    Shame on you.

    Home owners lives matter!!!!

  4. The actual situations of each and every one of those 50 deaths should be made available. My late grandmother owned a small retirement flat which had central heating, but as she had grown up during the era of paraffin stoves (ghastly smell) she naturally continued with them. There weren’t many CO2 alarms when she was still alive (if any), but there was always a window open, again, from habit. In this current era of conserve everything (except common-sense) I find people so reluctant to open windows that often they are jammed solid with lack of use (a bit like brains). I like a warm room myself, but a recent visit to a tenant had even me feeling a trifle overheated. Add to that the extra curtain over the door, and the attempt to stop any and all fresh air from entering, and its just as well there aren’t any appliances other than electric radiators. I’m just waiting for the mould to start, now.

  5. Yes i know. I actually upgraded mine already. Turns out most of them make models that fit the same base, so no need for electricians. just fit it on to the same base plate. Yes, all this is nonsense i know, but these new regs are coming in whatever. Only thing, CO detectors are £50 each.

  6. I’d support rules for a CO alarm in every room with a combustion appliance – NOT every room. And it’s what I do with our properties (all two of them) when the alarms are due for replacement.
    I use Aico, only mains powered, and all interlinked (and with test/locate switch). It’s just annoying that their radio modules cost nearly as much as the alarms (needed when I can’t get a new cable to a location thanks to modern construction methods.

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