New smoke alarm legislation helps to save lives

 New government regulations which will help keep private tenants safer – and potentially save more than 200 lives a year – have been welcomed by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) 
The new legislation means it will be compulsory for private landlords to fit smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in homes they rent out. Landlords who don’t comply could face fines of up to £5,000.

The regulations were approved by the House of Commons and House of Lords on Monday September 14th and will come into force on October 1st 

The vital life-saving legislation has been introduced following a major high profile campaign from CFOA, aiming to make tenants safer in their own home. The call for the change in the law formed part of CFOA’s call to government as part of the first 100 days of the next government: The Fire and Rescue Service: Making our Nation Safer’ 

The new law will require private landlords to have a working smoke alarm on each floor of their property and carbon monoxide detector in properties which burn solid fuel 

CFOA’s newly-elected President Paul Hancock added: “This marks a change in improving the safety of some of our most vulnerable residents.

“We know most landlords will support this move and already operate safely, but for the irresponsible few the legislation will help to protect tenants. It also sends a clear message to those not taking the safety of their tenants seriously: You could face legal action.   

Landlords must: Fit a smoke alarm on every storey; fit a carbon monoxide alarm in every room with a sold fuel burning appliance; and alarms tested and working at the start of each tenancy.

Mark Cashin, Cheshire’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer and Chair of CFOA’s Home Safety Committee, said: “I am delighted that the Government recognised the strength of the case we put forward and the major improvements in public safety this simple step will bring about.”

He added: “While death and injuries from fires have reduced considerably in recent years, the majority of victims continue to be those who are most vulnerable, often living in private rented accommodation.

“This change will improve the safety of families and stop dozens of people from losing their lives to fire each year. The cost to landlords is small, with a ten year sealed alarm costing around £15.”

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