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23-07-18

Government publishes response to Review of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations

The Government has published their response to the Review of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 consultation which took place between November 2017 and January 2018.

The legislation came into effect in October 2015, following a high-profile campaign by the then Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA). The change in legislation meant it was compulsory for private landlords to fit smoke alarms on every storey of a property and carbon monoxide detectors are fitted in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance. The alarms should be installed and tested at the start of each tenancy. Tenants are responsible for testing alarms for the duration of the tenancy.

There were 170 respondents to the consultation with questions for all respondents and further categories for landlords and letting agents, tenants and local authorities.

Main findings from the consultation:

  • Widespread understanding of the regulations which has led to improved installation of smoke and CO alarms in the private rented sector
  • Regulations should be retained in full but expanded to cover all tenure types
  • Clarity should be provided about some terminology such as what is meant by a solid fuel appliance
  • Consideration could be given to the Regulations applying to all fuel burning appliances
  • Good level of compliance with the Regulations with some local authorities using enforcement powers to ensure compliance

No recommendations were made following this consultation as on 30th April the government announced wider ranging review will take place later in 2018, into the rules that require carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted into homes across England, including those in the private rented sector.

The upcoming review will:

  • Examine existing legislation, checking if it remains fit for purpose
  • Consider whether a there should be a requirement to install CO alarms for all methods of heating including gas and oil
  • Look at new research into the number of carbon monoxide poisonings
  • Whether the cost of carbon monoxide alarms is affecting installation rates
  • Ministers to consider reforms once review reports back

 Future changes will take into account the result of the Review of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and the Dame Judith Hackitt independent review into building regulations and fire safety following the Grenfell Tower fire.

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