Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors – The Changes!

Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors – The Changes!


From 1st October, the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 will require that all landlords of both private and social housing must ensure a smoke alarm is fitted on every floor of their property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. This can include mezzanine and rear landings if a bathroom, toilet or kitchen open onto it as they are part of the accommodation and the landing would form part of the fire corridor exit. Landlords who do not comply should begin the installation of and repair to existing alarms now to avoid a shortage of alarms nearer October plus running the risk of being fined and breaching the rules.


A major change relates to responsibility – from October when a tenant (or a tenant’s nominated representative) reports that an alarm may not be in proper working order and is found not to be, the landlord (or agent) must repair or replace the alarm as soon as reasonably possible. To be on the safe side this would include if a battery stopped working; from October it will be in the interests of the landlord to replace it rather than expect a tenant to do it.


Whilst landlords will also be obliged to check that alarms are in working order on the first day of a new tenancy; they should be tested before a tenancy commences to avoid any uncertainty.


The Regulations state that all rented properties in England must provide a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms where there is any type of fixed combustion application, such as gas boilers, from the beginning of October 2022.


This extends the requirement, which has been long overdue (gas engineers have been recommending them for years, particularly for the young and vulnerable), as previously it only applied to solid fuel combustion appliances, such as wood burners. Gas cookers, however, have been excluded from this change.


Landlords or agents should make sure that for both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors that the right unit is correctly fitted and is in the right place as per the manufacturers instructions. A timely and needed change making properties safer and the rules more transparent for safety of tenants and the clarity of responsibility for landlords and agents!


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