From the 1st October 2015 new legislation comes into force regarding the provision of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. The provision applies to properties in England, not Wales. The legislation is to bring into line the fire safety requirements of rented properties to the same level required in new private built housing.
The compliance of this legislation is the responsibility of the immediate landlord of residential premises. This would also include a property whereby a flat is located over a retail outlet for example.
The new legislation applies to residential properties where a person or persons occupy the property and pay rent.
There are certain exemptions and reference should be made to the relevant legislation. For example the regulations exclude registered social landlords and certain types of properties such as care homes, student halls of residence. Care homes will usually have a higher standard of safety already in place.
Its a fact that the provision of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will give occupiers a better chance of survival and to vacate a building in the early stages of fire or be alerted to the escape of poisonous carbon monoxide fumes.
From 1st October 2015 the landlord needs to ensure a working smoke alarm is provided on each storey of the premises whilst occupied under a tenancy (or licence). This would apply to any room used as living accommodation. The alarms would need to be tested at the start of a new tenancy.
In addition carbon monoxide alarms need to be provided in high risk rooms where solid fuel equipment is installed. This would include a solid fuel fire such as an open coal fire or wood burning stove.
The provision of the above does not have to cost a fortune. Carbon monoxide alarms cost around £30-£40 each. Battery operated smoke alarms even with a 10 year battery life cost a lot less. Consideration may be given to installing a hard wired system. This type of installation, usually found in new houses would obviously cost more but is usually the recommended and preferred option.
Although it is the landlord's responsibility to ensure the above is adhered to, help is at hand.
We can provide a fire risk assessment of the property where we will take the above into account but will also provide a report on the standard of fire safety throughout the property concerned and provide solutions where appropriate. Please contact us for advise 01422 372508.