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I know it’s boring…but let’s talk about smoke alarms…

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 27th, 2019 by Nigel Fitzakerley

I know sometimes discussing mundane things is boring but often these little things can save lives – so let’s talk about smoke alarms.

From 1 October 2015 landlords are required to ensure alarms are installed in their properties. The regulations stipulate that:

  • Smoke alarms are to be installed on every level of the property and
  • a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance.
  • Once installed, the landlord (or someone acting on their behalf) must ensure all alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

After the landlord’s initial test on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on the first day of the tenancy, tenants should take responsibility for their own safety and test alarms regularly to make sure they are in working order.

Testing monthly is the recommended frequency for smoke alarms. If tenants find that their smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm is not working during their tenancy, they are advised to arrange the replacement of the batteries or the alarm itself with the landlord.

The regulations are there to ensure the safety of private sector tenants.

If the local authority has reasonable grounds to believe the landlord has not adhered to the regulations a notice will be issued, detailing the suspected breach and the action needed to resolve the issue.

If the landlord proves compliance to their local authority or demonstrates they have taken all reasonable steps short of legal proceedings, to become compliant within 28 days of the notice being issued then they will be spared the civil penalty – which could be up to £5,000.

So yes, you need to think about smoke & carbon monoxide alarms for your tenants safety but also for your financial security – £5,000 is a lot of money for something which costs very little.

If you have any queries about this email, please do drop me a line.

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