Landlords required to install smoke alarms under new laws

Landlords are now required to install smoke alarms in their properties under new laws that came into force on Thursday 1 October.

The measures 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. They are also required to install carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with solid fuel burning appliances.

Government figures suggest the move could help prevent more than 25 deaths and 700 injuries a year. Landlords who fail to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms could face up to £5,000 civil penalties.

Leading up to the introduction of the new laws Avon Fire & Rescue Service has been working with landlords to provide free smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.

At 25 drop-in events held across the area 969 alarms were provided to around 400 landlords.

Station Manager Steve Quinton, Head of Technical Fire Safety at Avon Fire & Rescue Service, said: “We are in no doubt that the new laws will improve the safety of tenants in rented accommodation as smoke alarms have been proven to save lives.

“Over the past few months we met many hundreds of landlords who have made sure they have everything in place to ensure they comply with the new laws.

“For those who have decided not to take simple steps to keep their tenants safe, there is now the very real risk of a sizeable fine. If tenants have not been provided with a working smoke alarm they should contact their landlords and ask them to install one.”

Once alarms have been fitted it is the responsibility of the tenant to check and maintain it.

Station Manager Quinton added: “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 smoke alarms on every level of their home and check they are working on a regular basis.

“A smoke alarm can provide early warning that a fire has started, giving occupants time to escape the property, especially at night. However, they can only protect you if they are working properly so it’s important they are checked on a regular basis.”

For more information visit our ‘Business safety’ pages by clicking here.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has also produced a guidance booklet for landlords which is available from the website here.