Landlords required to install smoke alarms from October 2015
Following a change in the law landlords will be required to install working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in all rented homes and this will take effect from October this year. Statistics show that there are about 36 deaths and 1,375 injuries each year that could be prevented if smoke and carbon monoxide alarms were fitted.
England’s 46 fire and rescue authorities will support landlords by offering free alarms using government funding. Smoke alarms are already fitted in the majority of houses – in 1988 just 8% of homes had a smoke alarm installed but nowadays over 90% of homes benefit from the protection of a smoke alarm.
Experience shows that people are at least four times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there’s no working smoke alarm and whilst installation is vital regular testing is also important. This regular testing is the tenant’s responsibility.
Lynne McCaffrey, Head of Property at Goldsmith Williams Solicitors, comments:
“The importance of a fitted, working and regularly tested smoke alarm cannot be overstated. I recently read of a case where a 15 month baby died in Edgbaston, Birmingham when her bedding accidentally caught fire. The coroner in this case particularly highlighted that there were no smoke alarms fitted in the property and suggested that had there been a working smoke alarm the death could have been prevented.
“There are a number of legal issues faced by landlords; this is one of the simpler ones to address. Landlords in the main have already taken action and ensured smoke alarms are fitted into properties and there is government help available for the few still to act.”
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Content correct at time of publication