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Smoke alarms “must be fitted in all rented accommodation” mandates Government

29 November 2021

THOSE PEOPLE living in social housing are going to be safer in their homes under new rules that will mean smoke alarms must be fitted within all rented accommodation, Housing Minister Eddie Hughes has announced.

The Government’s announcement, made through the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, means that housing providers will be required – by law – to install smoke alarms in all social housing, while carbon monoxide alarms must now be fitted inside all social and private rented properties with fixed appliances such as gas boilers or fires.

These new measures are part of social housing reforms initiated by the Conservative Government in a bid to drive up standards. The regulation changes will also require landlords and housing providers in the social and private rented sectors to repair or replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once they’re told that they’re faulty.

Social Housing White Paper

The reforms follow a commitment laid down in the Social Housing White Paper published last year. The White Paper sets out proposals for wide-ranging reforms of the social housing sector, with tenants afforded a clear way in which to raise concerns and the regulator provided with stronger powers to take enforcement action.

The cost of the new requirements to install and maintain alarms will fall to property owners.

Hughes, the Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, said: “It is fundamentally right for people to feel safe in their own homes. This is an issue I’ve advocated for many years. Around 20 people are killed each year due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and many more through house fires, but we know that simple interventions can prevent these needless deaths.”

Hughes added: “I’m proud that the new rules being proposed will ensure even more homes are fitted with life-saving alarms. Whether you own your home, are privately renting or in social housing, everyone deserves to feel safe. This is an incredibly important step forward in protecting those at risk.”

Consistency and greater protection

Jim Bywater, domestic detection lead for the National Fire Chiefs Council, explained: “The National Fire Chiefs Council welcomes the changes which we believe will make many more people safer in their homes. We have campaigned for regulations to ensure that, regardless of tenure, homes have adequate life-saving detection systems installed.”

He continued: “The new regulations will contribute to reducing fire and carbon monoxide casualties and fatalities and bring consistency and greater protection to those living in both private and social rented homes.”

The guidance relating to where alarms are fitted and ensuring that alarms meet relevant standards will also be updated.

The reforms follow on from a two-month consultation process. Changes will be brought forward through the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 as well as the statutory guidance (Approved Document J) supporting Part J of the Building Regulations.