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In a brave new move by the government to try and save lives, hopefully from October 2015 all landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties. Also to check or repair alarms that are already on site are in good working order.

These measures were announced by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis on 11th March 2015 in a draft regulation before parliament. This is in a bid to help prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year. Unsure whether this will be given the go ahead, we at Boiler Breakdowns think this is a valid legislation that should be passed in parliament. What is your take on this as our customer?

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis

To follow on from this draft legislation we at Boiler Breakdowns, from June 2015 are going to offer our CO Alarms as a mandatory fixture with all our boiler installations, for free! We believe in this legislation and want to offer our customers all the help we can to save lives.

See the below statements from the current Housing Minister and Communities Minister:

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said:

“In 1988 just 8% of homes had a smoke alarms installed - now it's over 90%.

The vast majority of landlords offer a good service and have installed smoke alarms in their homes, but I'm changing the law to ensure every tenant can be given this important protection. But with working smoke alarms providing the vital seconds needed to escape a fire, I urge all tenants to make sure they regularly test their alarms to ensure they work when it counts. Testing regularly remains the tenant's responsibility.”

Communities Minister Stephen Williams said:

“We're determined to create a bigger, better and safer private rented sector - a key part of that is to ensure the safety of tenants with fire prevention and carbon monoxide warning. People are at least 4 times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there's no working smoke alarm. That's why we are proposing changes to the law that would require landlords to install working smoke alarms in their properties so tenants can give their families and those they care about a better chance of escaping a fire.”

If these proposed changes to the law are given the go ahead they would require landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property, and test them at the start of every tenancy. The Landlords would also need to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in high risk rooms - such as those where a solid fuel heating system or gas boiler is installed. If this legislation is not followed by landlords those who fail to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms could face up to a £5,000 civil penalty. Quite a hefty bill to pay, but better than the loss of a life.

Current building regulations for newly built homes or extensions are required to have hard-wired smoke alarms installed and CO alarms for either replacement or new fixed solid fuel burning appliances. So this new legislation will bring tenanted properties in line with this.

The new legislation will be laid in Parliament to require landlords to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties, and are expected to come into force, subject to Parliamentary approval, on 10 October 2015. We will keep a close eye on this at Boiler Breakdowns and hope this important, life-saving legislation gets the go ahead.

By Julie Cropper 19th May 2015

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