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Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations – what you need to know

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 will come into force on 1 October 2022.

Who does this affect?

The regulations apply to all homes rented by private landlords or registered providers of social housing, unless excluded.

 

What are the changes?

From 1st October 2022 all relevant landlords must:

1. Ensure at least one smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of their homes where there is a room used as living accommodation – already a legal requirement in the private sector, but now extended to the social housing sector too.

2. Ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room used as “living accommodation”  with a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers).

3. Ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once advised they are faulty.

The requirements are enforced by local authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where a landlord fails to comply with a remedial notice.

 

What type of smoke / carbon monoxide alarm is required?

Hard-wired or battery powered – the regulations don’t stipulate.

Landlords are required to choose smoke alarms are compliant with British Standards BS 5839-6, while carbon monoxide alarms should comply with British Standards BS 50291.

Where battery powered alarms are selected, alarms with ‘sealed for life’ batteries (10 years) rather than alarms with replaceable batteries are advised as the preferred option.

 

Where do smoke alarms need to be located?

At least one smoke alarm should be installed on every storey which is used as living accommodation.

Generally smoke alarms should be fixed to the ceiling in a circulation space, i.e. a hall or a landing.

 

Where do carbon monoxide alarms need to be located?

A carbon monoxide alarm should be installed in every room which is used as living accommodation containing a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers).

A fixed combustion device is defined as “a fixed apparatus where fuel of any type is burned to generate heat”. These could be powered by gas, oil, coal, or wood.  Examples are: fires, log burners and boilers.

Carbon monoxide alarms should be positioned at head height, approximately 1-3 metres away from a potential source of carbon monoxide.

 

Who needs to install and test the alarms?

The regulations require landlords to ensure alarms are provided and to check that each alarm is in full working order on the day the tenancy begins if it is a new tenancy.

Landlords should make sure alarms are installed in an effective way to protect tenants from the dangers of smoke and carbon monoxide.

Landlords are responsible for repairing or replacing any faulty alarms.

Tenants are advised to replace the batteries when needed. However, if the alarm still doesn’t work, the Landlord should then intervene.

 

Which tenancies are exempt from these regulations?

The following tenancies are excluded from the regulations:

  • shared accommodation with a landlord or landlord’s family
  • long leases
  • student halls of residence
  • hotels and refuges
  • care homes
  • hospitals and hospices
  • low cost ownership homes
  • other accommodation relating to health care provision

Frequently asked questions:

What type of smoke / carbon monoxide alarm is required?

Hard-wired or battery powered – the regulations don’t stipulate.
Landlords are required to choose smoke alarms that are compliant with British Standards BS 5839-6, while carbon monoxide alarms should comply with British Standards BS 50291. Where battery powered alarms are selected, alarms with ‘sealed for life’ batteries [10 years] rather than alarms with replaceable batteries are advised as the preferred option.

Where do smoke alarms need to be located?
At least one smoke alarm should be installed on every storey which is used as living accommodation. Generally smoke alarms should be fixed to the ceiling in a circulation space, i.e. a hall or a landing.

Where do carbon monoxide alarms need to be located?
A carbon monoxide alarm should be installed in every room which is used as living accommodation containing a fixed combustion appliance [excluding gas cookers]. It is advised, carbon monoxide alarms should be positioned at head height, approximately 1-3 metres away from a potential source of carbon monoxide.


For fire and life safety services in Northern Ireland, call the experts of: 02870878077 or email sales@advancedoverwatch.com

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