AF&RS welcomes smoke alarm legislation

Avon Fire & Rescue Service has welcomed the announcement that landlords will be required by law to install smoke alarms in their properties by the end of the year.

On Tuesday 11 March the Housing Minister Brandon Lewis announced the introduction of measures that would require private sector landlords to install smoke alarms on each storey of their property and ensure they are working at the start of a tenancy. There will also be a requirement to install carbon monoxide alarms in the rooms considered most at risk.

Government figures suggest the move could result in up to 36 fewer fatalities and 1,529 fewer injuries over a 10 year period. The regulations are expected to come into effect in October 2015.

Head of Community Safety at Avon Fire & Rescue Service, Group Manager Matt Peskett said: “We know from experience that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors save lives so we are very pleased that legislation is being introduced which will undoubtedly improve the safety of tenants in rented accommodation.

“With a growing number of people renting property in our local area, it is vital that there are measures in place to protect them in the event of a fire or build up of carbon monoxide.

“We know that the vast majority of landlords offer a good service and already have working smoke alarms in their properties but this change in the law provides extra reassurance to tenants. We will work closely with all landlords to support them with the introduction of the legislation.

“You are up to four times more likely to die in a house fire if smoke alarms are not fitted, so we would urge everyone, regardless of the type of property they live in, to fit working smoke alarms on every level of their home and to check the batteries are working regularly.

“A smoke alarm can provide early warning that a fire has started, giving occupants time to escape the property, especially at night. But they can only protect you if they are working properly.”

To aid the transition the Government has announced one-off funding to fire and rescue authorities to enable them to support landlords in complying with the new regulations.

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