A small change to save lives

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

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.

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