New safety laws for landlords come into force from 1st October 2015. The new safety laws make it compulsory for all landlords to fit smoke alarms in rented homes, as well as offering protection against carbon monoxide poisoning.
The new safety laws make it compulsory for all landlords to:
Fit at least one smoke alarm on each floor of their premises
Fit a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms containing a solid fuel appliance
Check that all alarms are working when a new tenancy starts - with potential penalties of up to £5,000 if they don’t comply.
Landlords must check the alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy with potential penalties of up to £5,000 if they don't comply.
Please see our down loads section for the Government booklet. Downloads electrical safety
Most domestic and rental installations now are mains powered with battery back up. The battery can be a local alkaline (life 1 year) or lithium cell (life 10 years) or a centrally located lead acid battery for a low voltage system with an alarm panel.
Please be careful when an alarm is offerred to you to make sure it is the correct type and mounted in the correct location.
Optical alrms are the best as they actually see smoke rising from a smouldering fire and are ideal for softly furnished areas.
Ionizaion alarms are generally cheaper and work by detecting flaming fires, but can be useful in areas where Optical alrms may otherwise give false alarms such as entrance halls where light smoke could blow in from outside.
Heat alarms are use in kitchens, where both of the above may give false alarms. Heat alarms working by detecting a rapid rise in temp.erature.
There are alarms now enetering the market that are a combination of all technologies.
Some smoke alarms have 10 year batteries, usedul for rental accomodation where disposable batteries could be re-purposed.
In any case, all smoke anss CO2 alarms should be replace after 10 years, so the up front cost of a Lithium Battery powered alarm saves much cost in replacing alakaline batteries every year.