Aico and DCLG launch fire safety video for private rental sector
The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and Aico have joined forces as part of a ‘Fire Kills’ campaign to promote the use of mains powered smoke alarms in privately rented properties.This work has included the production of a video film. The video, available to view on YouTube Fire Kills Campaign, features Councillor Mark Healey, chair of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority and the Fire Kills campaign advocate for the private and social rented sector. Mark guides us round a typical home pointing out the most important places to fit a smoke alarm, including hallways and landings as these are the escape routes and the lounge which is often the source of a fire.
Mark recommends the use of mains powered smoke alarms fitted by a qualified electrician as opposed to battery only alarms, as these are the safest and most convenient option for a landlord. Government fire statistics show that 36 per cent of battery powered alarms fail to operate in a fire – almost half because the battery was missing or dead. Installing mains powered alarms, interconnected together so they can be heard throughout the property, negates this problem and allows landlords to meet their Duty of Care.
In addition to the location of smoke alarms, the video also addresses smoke alarm maintenance. Smoke alarms do require regular cleaning and testing, which Mark and his electrician colleague demonstrate, recommending the use of a wall mounted test switch to encourage regular testing. As Mark states, these activities could be included in the tenancy agreement.
‘As a landlord,’ commented Mark, ‘I know how important it is to install working alarms in the properties I am responsible for. As the chair of one of the largest Fire and Rescue Services in the country, I also know what can and does go wrong. Remember, both your tenants’ safety and your property are in danger if you don’t have working smoke alarms fitted.’
Fire Minister, Bob Neill said, ‘A working smoke alarm can provide the vital seconds needed to escape a house fire, so installing and maintaining an alarm is one of the most important things a landlord can do to protect their tenants and their property from the devastating effects of fire.
‘I welcome the production of this film clip funded by Aico, designed to encourage landlords to install and maintain hard wired smoke alarms in the properties they are responsible for.’
The new fire safety video has been produced by the DCLG as part of the Fire Kills campaign in conjunction with Aico – a Partner of the government’s Fire Kills campaign.
The video can be viewed here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCEpUTTAVu0