A small change to save lives
LANDLORDS across England are being urged to act now to ensure they are ready for new safety laws aimed at saving dozens of lives a year.
The new regulations will make it compulsory for all landlords to fit smoke alarms in rented homes.
Under the new laws smoke alarms must be fitted on every floor of the property as well as carbon monoxide alarms in properties which burn solid fuels.
Landlords must also check the alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy with potential penalties of up to £5,000 if they don’t comply.
The Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA) campaigned for more than two years for the legislation to be introduced.
Working closely with landlords and the main landlord associations and groups it presented key evidence and research into the Government’s national review of the issue.
Mark Cashin, chair of CFOA’s home safety committee, said: “We are delighted that the Government has worked with us to bring in these new laws which will improve the safety of families and stop dozens of people from losing their lives to fire each year.
“While overall smoke alarm ownership in the country stands at around 90%, those living in private rented homes are far less likely to have a working smoke alarm.
“Statistically people are four times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there is no working smoke alarm and over the next 10 years it is estimated that the new laws will result in 231 fewer deaths and 5,860 less injuries.”
The new regulations do not apply to social landlords and Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) as these are both covered by other existing laws.
To help landlords gear up for the new regulations, which subject to Parliamentary approval are expected to come into force this October, the Government has provided local Fire and Rescue Services with a limited number of free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to distribute to give out ahead of the regulations coming into force.
Landlords can request their smoke alarm from London Fire Brigade by emailing PRSSmokeandCO Alarms@London-fire. gov.uk.