There are sobering statistics when it comes to smoke alarms in the home. According to government statistics, occupants are four times as likely to involved in a fire-related fatality if there are no functioning smoke detectors in the property.
Smoke alarms and the law
For this reason, the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 were introduced several years ago. Since 1st October 2015, all landlords have been responsible for ensuring that a minimum of one smoke detector per floor of the property is installed. They are also required to make sure that the alarm(s) were in good working order at the beginning of any new tenancy.
Carbon monoxide and the law
You may note that the regulations also mention carbon monoxide alarms. Landlords also must supply and fit a carbon monoxide detector in each room containing a wood burning stove, coal fire or any other type of solid fuel burner. As with smoke alarms, these must be tested for functionality at the beginning of a new tenancy agreement.
Powers of enforcement
If these rules are not complied with, local authorities have the power to issue landlords with a maximum fine of £5,000 – if they failed to take action upon receiving a remedial notice.
What are the tenant’s responsibilities?
Once the tenancy has begun, the tenant should check that the alarms are still in working order at regular intervals. If any are not working, they must advise the landlord, and should also allow the landlord access to the property to install or repair smoke alarms as required.