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CO alarms made mandatory

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The government has announced that, as of October 2015, it will be mandatory for landlords to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties, in a bid to raise safety and reduce the number of deaths from CO incidents in the rental sector.

The move is expected to save up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries per year and is part of wider government actions being undertaken to ensure there are sufficient measures in place to protect public safety.

The proposed changes to the law would require landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property, and test them at the start of every tenancy. Landlords would also need to install carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms – such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed. Failure to comply could see landlords face up to a £5,000 civil penalty.

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 the tenants with fire prevention and carbon monoxide warning.”

This announcement would bring private rented properties into line with existing building regulations that already require newly-built home to have hard-wired smoke alarms installed.

Your role

Installers have an integral role to play in the success of these new proposals; do you have landlord customers? Are they aware of the changes?

Whether you’re carrying out a routine service or can spare a few minutes to make a call, it’s well worth letting them know that of their new obligations; perhaps suggesting they upgrade their knowledge and skills surrounding gas safety awareness within the sector.

We have a Gas Safety Awareness in Social Housing or Residential Premises Course available for all candidates working in the social housing and private rental sector, such as landlords and maintenance staff who should all be up-to-speed with gas safety issues affecting their residents.

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