Smoke Detector Regulation – What you need to know
LANDLORDS: Are you prepared for the brand new regulations that came into effect as of October?
Following a long winded path new regulations are actually in place which will have an impact on all private landlords in Britain.
Landlords must have a minimum of 1 smoke alarm per storey of their property as well as a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. According to a recent report if there is no smoke alarm installed in a property, a person is at least four times more likely to die in a fire there.
These rules do not include hostels, care homes, hospitals, hospices and student halls of residence. Councils will also have the power to enter premises within 48 hours to fix broken alarms and install smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors if needed.
Here we address some crucial questions associated with the brand new regulations, however if you do have any questions regarding the new regulations please call our property maintenance team on 01489 585559 –
What will happen if I don’t obey the new regulations?
The regulations will be applied by local councils who are able to fine up to £5000 for non-compliance of these rules.
Is it the landlord’s responsibility to check if the alarms are working?
At the beginning of a tenancy it’s the duty of the landlord to ensure the alarms are functioning – alarms needs to be checked at the start of the tenancy agreement. Throughout the tenancy tenants test all alarms frequently and should take responsibility for their own security.
For gas appliances do I need a carbon monoxide alarm?
It is not necessary according to the new legislation; but the PRS Code of Conduct states all let properties with gas appliances to really have a carbon monoxide alarm. As Beal’s strictly follows this code, we ensure alarms are installed in all our let properties that have either gasoline or solid fuel appliances.
Does it matter if the alarm is hard-wired or battery powered?
The regulations do not stipulate one type or another, however if your property is a house share or house in multiple occupation (HMO) – a property in which 3 or more people live but do not form one household, i.e. they are not related or in a relationship – you must comply with the HMO and building regulations that apply to your property.
Should the alarms be installed in a specific place?
Apart from stipulating that there should be at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance, the regulations do not specify exactly where the alarms should be placed. The alarm manufacturer’s instructions should be followed. A storey is a part of a building comprising all of the rooms that are on the same level and the regulations apply to all storeys that have at least one room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. This includes bathrooms, WCs, halls, landings and stairways. A mezzanine floor would not be considered a storey.
Can heat detectors be installed in place of smoke alarms?
No, heat detectors are not a replacement for smoke alarms.
How much does it cost to install the alarms?
Prices vary, however if you are a Beal’s landlord you can phone our property management team and get a quote for a very competitive price. Call them now on 01489 585559.