The government has announced new Regulations requiring private landlords in England to install and check smoke alarms and, in some instances, carbon monoxide alarms in their properties from October 2015.
With occupants at least four times more likely to die in a fire in a home where there is no working smoke alarm, the measures aim to help prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year.
Awaiting parliamentary approval, the draft Regulations should apply to private rented premises occupied on or after 1st October, excluding licensed HMOs, social housing and other residential buildings already covered by existing regulations. Properties where accommodation is shared with the landlord may also be excluded.
Once implemented, the Regulations will require a smoke alarm on every floor where there is accommodation and also a CO alarm in any habitable rooms with a solid fuel appliance. Local authorities have a duty to serve notice on the landlord if there is a breach of the Regulations and can execute remedial action if necessary and make a penalty charge up to £5,000.
The landlord, managing agent or other representative must also check that alarms work at the start of each tenancy – although regular testing will be the tenant’s responsibility – and replace any that do not. With this in mind, the latest generation of 10-year guarantee alarms can help landlords meet their obligations over the longer term, cost-effectively.
For example, Kidde’s self-contained 10LLCO range of carbon monoxide alarms and 10Y29 compact optical smoke alarm all enjoy full 10-year guarantees covering both the alarm and sealed-in lithium battery.
Alternatively, landlords may choose to install hard-wired mains smoke alarms with back-up power, meeting the recommendations of the BS 5839, Part 6: 2103 Code of Practice. For this, Kidde offers a wide range of products from its Firex and Slick® ranges.
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