Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Global, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
November 25, 2021

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Law changes require all social housing providers to fit smoke alarms in rented accommodation

Following an announcement from Housing Minister, Eddie Hughes MP, on the 23rd November, housing providers will now be required by law to install smoke alarms in all social housing.

Carbon Monoxide alarms must also be fitted in social and private rented properties with fixed appliances, such as gas boilers or fires.

The move, which comes after a two-month consultation, is designed to make people living in social housing feel safer in their homes, says the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The regulation changes will also require:

  • Carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted when new appliances such as gas boilers or fires installed in any home
  • Landlords and housing providers in social and private rented sectors to replace or repair smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once they are told they are faulty

The cost of the new requirements to install and maintain alarms will fall on property owners. Guidance to where alarms are fitted and to ensure alarms meet relevant standards will also be updated.

The reforms follow a commitment in the Social Housing Whitepaper published last year, which set out proposals for wide-ranging reforms of the social housing sector.

Jim Bywater, National Fire Chiefs Council, Domestic Detection Lead, said: “NFCC 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 lifesaving detection.

“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 consultation also suggests that more information should be provided on the siting of alarms and that the guidance will signpost towards the relevant British Standards for installation. Any alarms used should be third party certified to the relevant British Standards – BS EN 14604 for Smoke alarms and BS EN 50291 for Carbon Monoxide alarms.

National Technical Manager for Aico, Andy Speake, says of the consultation: “At Aico, we strive to promote best practice and deliver safer homes, so it’s great to see the proposed amendments to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and Approved Document J, be so well received. The recommendations are welcomed by all of us working in the industry, and the expansion of the regulations will certainly bring greater levels of protection to residents of rented homes across England.”


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