The “Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015” were introduced after a number of fatal fires in the Private Rental Sector (PRS).
Becoming law back in October 2015, this now places legal requirements on PRS landlords to:
- Have a working smoke alarm on each habitable floor within the property
- Have a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms with a solid fuel burning appliance (such as log burner or coal fire)
This means that for the average 2 storey premises there would need to be 2 smoke alarms. The regulations make no stipulation about the type of alarm(s) to be fitted, and simple cheap battery models will comply with the regulations. For better performance, less false alarms due to cooking fumes and simple “fit and forget” operation for 10 years (although every smoke alarm should always be tested at regular intervals), we recommend the Fire Angel Thermoptek range, which are the type of choice from a large number of UK fire services. The baseplate fits to the ceiling with 2 screws and the alarm itself twists onto the plate. This is easy DIY fitment.
Note that Habitable floors do not include lofts or cellars (unless of course, these are part of the living quarters in which case alarms will need to be fitted)
The “Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015” also place duties on the landlord to ensure that the smoke alarms are working at the start of the tenancy.
A simple way to ensure compliance here is to test the smoke alarm using the integral button prior to the tenant moving in. Although there are no legally binding forms for these purposes, we have designed a simple sheet which outlines another small number of checks you can do and a space to record the test. This is best practice with regards recording the checks have been completed prior to the start of the tenancy. If you simply click HERE and enter your email address I’ll send one over to you ASAP.
As long as the alarm is checked at the start of the tenancy, ongoing testing is then the responsibility of the tenant. This is the main piece of legislation as far as Landlord Smoke Alarm Regulations are concerned.
Obviously, landlords/agents should be giving this information to tenants so that they are aware of what their responsibilities are as regards ongoing testing and also reporting of any faults.