New Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Regulations

New Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Regulations


Following a consultation on the government’s proposals to extend regulations on domestic smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in both social and private rented accommodation, the government has now confirmed its plans to amend the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015.


The new regulations will make smoke alarms mandatory in all social rented homes, whilst carbon monoxide alarms will need to be fitted in all rented properties with gas boilers or fires and in all rooms with a fixed combustion device. This has been an anomaly in the regulations ever since they were introduced and it is absolute common sense to make carbon monoxide detectors mandatory in any property with a gas appliance. It should be noted that gas cookers are “excluded” from this ruling. Where a new fixed combustion appliance is installed a carbon monoxide alarm will be required to be installed by law.


Landlords would be required to ensure that these alarms are in working order on the first day of each new tenancy. They will also be required to fix faulty alarms once informed of any issue, so fudging this very important health issue will no longer be a possibility! Testing throughout the duration of a tenancy will remain the resident’s responsibility and they should be encouraged to do so on a regular basis and to report any issues or concerns.


Since 2015, private sector landlords have been required to install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid-fuel burning appliance, under the Building Regulations Approved Document J. As with smoke alarms, the regulations also require private landlords to ensure the alarms are in working order at the start of each tenancy. These requirements apply to installations in new and existing homes regardless of whether they are private or social rented accommodation or owned.


The guidance will be updated and amended on repairing faulty alarms and on the positioning of them when fitted; as well as ensuring that they meet relevant standards. This hopefully will remove another concerning factor that has been found to cause alarms to malfunction or worse just not work to the manufacturer`s specification.


These changes will give a much more joined up approach to the law surrounding smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, making the whole area easier to understand, comply with and most importantly, to enforce – helping to keep resident`s safe!