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Revised Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations take effect

over 1 year ago
Revised Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations take effect

How we heat our homes is currently in the spotlight, especially as autumn has officially started and there’s a definite chill in the air. It is timely that changes to fire safety in privately rented properties take effect just as we’re firing up our gas boilers, lighting our wood burning stoves and switching on our underfloor heating.

From the 1st October 2022, there are changes to The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015. The 2022 amendments are something that all landlords in England need to implement with immediate effect, as there will be no ‘grace’ period and fines can be issued from day one.

The new regulations from 1st October 2022 now require landlords to:

  • Ensure carbon monoxide alarms are provided in all rooms with a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers)
  • Ensure carbon monoxide alarms are provided upon installation of any heating appliance (excluding gas cookers) in all tenures through building regulations
  • Repair or replace alarms once informed that they are faulty

The above amendments are in addition to the following existing requirements:

  • A landlord should ensure smoke alarms are fitted on every floor of a property, where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation
  • A landlord should provide carbon monoxide alarms in any room where solid fuel is burnt, such as wood, coal or biomass, including open fires
  • A landlord should make sure that all fire safety alarms work at the start of each tenancy

In Wales, similar changes will come into force from 1st December 2022 under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016. As well as gas and electric heating systems being in good, safe working order, a landlord in Wales must ensure:-

  • There are working smoke alarms fitted on every floor
  • There are working carbon monoxide alarms fitted in any room that has a gas, oil or solid-fuel burning appliance
  • That all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are working at the start of each tenancy and during the occupation
  • The expiry date of each alarm is noted down

Preparing for colder months in rented properties
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations are part of a wider set of fire safety laws, which also include the Housing Act 2004, the Fire Safety Act 2021, The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 and the Building Safety Act 2022. As lettings professionals, we can guide landlords on all aspects of fire safety, so please get in touch if you need any clarification.

A word on boilers
Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, a landlord is responsible for the maintenance and repair of boilers, which should include an annual service. Landlords are also required to ensure every gas appliance – including fires, boilers, ovens and hobs – has a gas safety certificate issued by a Gas Safe registered engineer. It’s about now that tenants will start using their central heating for the first time in months, so a service before the winter is a sensible idea.

And for those with chimneys
Unless stipulated in the tenancy agreement that the tenant is accountable for sweeping and servicing the chimney, it is the responsibility of a landlord to ensure any chimney paired with an open fire or wood burning stove is swept and kept unobstructed, as blocked chimneys and flues can produce carbon monoxide. Book a chimney sweep ideally before tenants light the first fire of the colder season.

Landlords are free to contact us for advice on health, safety and tenant welfare matters. Please contact us with your questions.

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