Working alarms save lives – Occupants are four times more likely to die in the event of a fire if there is no working smoke alarms in their house.
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force on 1st October 2015 requiring private sector landlords to:
- install at least one smoke alarm on every storey of their property ( a mezzanine floor is not considered a storey).
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. coal fire, wood burning stove).
- check that these alarms are in working order on the day a new tenancy begins.
The regulations apply to existing tenancies as well as new ones.
The regulations specifically exclude Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) as these properties are already covered by other legislation and specific guidance already exists to assist landlords determine the appropriate standard of fire detection and alarm.
However the following exclusions apply:
- Registered Social Landlords
- Houses in Multiple Occupation
- Hostels and Refuges
- Long Lease Properties (7+years)
- Student halls of residents
- Care homes
- Hospitals, Hospices and other healthcare accommodation
Where the Council has reasonable grounds that a breach has occurred, they must serve a remedial notice requiring the landlord to take action within 28 days.
Where the landlord still fails to provide the alarm, the local authority may obtain consent from the occupier to enter and install the necessary smoke or CO alarm as appropriate.
Where a landlord has failed to comply with a remedial notice the Council may serve a penalty charge notice of up to £5,000. Wealden District Council has set the penalty charge for non-compliance at £5000. A reduction of £500 is applied where payment is made within a 14 day “early payment” period.
The law requires that the Council publish a statement of reasons that will be followed when deciding the amount of a penalty charge. This statement can be found in the Wealden District Council Statement of Principles.
More information can be found in the Smoke and carbon monoxide: alarms explanatory booklet for landlords.
Fire Safety Advice
It is strongly recommend that mains powered inter linked smoke alarms with battery backup are installed to the British standard BS5839-6:2013 by a competent person. Mains powered inter linked smoke alarms are better at giving warning of a fire because as soon as one alarm is triggered, all alarms sound ensuring a higher level of sound warning throughout the premises. This is especially important at night when sleeping.
If that is not possible, then a smoke alarm fitted with a 10 year battery can be used, and are more suitable than cheaper detectors that you have to change the batteries every year, because the battery cannot be removed and ensures the alarm stays operational.
The type of alarm isn’t stipulated, however Wealden District Council will expect a tamper proof 10 year battery powered alarm as a minimum standard.