FireAngel is backing the government’s response regarding the findings of its Domestic smoke and carbon monoxide alarm consultation.
Aiming to achieve greater consistency with regard to the level of protection provided throughout rental properties, the amendments to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and Approved Document J will now also include socially rented properties, in addition to privately rented homes.
Private and social landlords will now be required to install one smoke alarm on each storey of their property, whilst also requiring the installation of a CO alarm in any room with a fixed combustion appliance. This includes boilers, fire and water heaters, but excludes gas cookers. Landlords will also be legally required to install a CO alarm in their properties when a fixed combustion appliance is fitted.
The new regulations will also ensure landlords repair or replace alarms when notified of a fault, but regular alarm testing will remain the responsibility of the resident. Whilst gas cookers are not included within the amendments, the British Standards still recommends that a CO alarm is fitted in any property with this type of appliance.
The British Standards should also be referred to regarding appropriate alarm placement. Landlords must ensure the alarms comply with British Standard EN 50291-1 and carry a British or European approval mark, such as a Kitemark, to ensure tenants receive the highest standards of protection.
In accordance with European Standard EN 50292, the CO alarm should be fitted in the same room as fuel-burning appliances, such as an open fire, gas cooker or boiler, and can be either wall or ceiling mounted. It is advised that additional alarms should be located in bedrooms relatively close to the breathing zone of the occupants, whilst alarms should also be installed in any room where there is a flue running through it.
Steve Boggis, Trade Business Unit Director for FireAngel, says: “As one of the UK’s leading providers of smoke, heat and CO alarms, we are committed to ensuring every type of residential property, whether privately or socially rented, or owned, has the highest possible levels of protection. We supported the government’s consultation on Domestic smoke and CO alarms and we are pleased with the proposed expansion of the recommendations for all types of rental properties throughout England.
“However, whilst the consultation recommends much needed changes with regard to the regulation of smoke and CO alarms in private and rented properties, we feel the recommendations of the updated Scottish Tolerable Standard, which comes into force February 2022, should also be applied to England and Wales to ensure the highest possible standards.
“In response to this, we are proactively working with our Social Housing and Trade partners to recommend and assist the installation of interlinked smoke, heat and CO alarms throughout all types of residential properties, to provide the earliest possible warning of a potential fire or CO event.”