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Smoke alarms alert - are landlords keeping up with the law?

Updated: Feb 16, 2021

Over two million homes in England - that’s almost one in 10 - do not have a working smoke alarm according to a survey covering all tenures of property. And only a quarter of landlords and owner occupiers with an alarm test it every month.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015, said that private sector landlords are required from 1 October 2015 to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and carbon monoxide alarms in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. The landlord must also make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils and fire authorities in England, says autumn poses a potentially greater fire risk as this is when people typically start to use heaters and open fires, and cook hot food, which is likely to be in greater numbers with more people working from home due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Latest government figures for 2018/19 show that nine per cent of households in England – the equivalent of 2.17m - do not have a working smoke alarm and only 26 per cent of people who own an alarm test it at least once a month.

This is despite experts calculating that people are around eight times more likely to die in a fire in a home with no working smoke alarm.

Did you know that is also a requirement of most insurance policies to have working smoke alarm installed in line with the above regulations? If you do not have these in place your insurance policy may be invalid.

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