What is the Fire Safety Regulation?
Fire Safety in rented accommodation comes from several different regulations including The Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. This latest regulation states that a rented property must have at least 1 working Smoke Alarm on each floor.
The property must also have a Carbon Monoxide Detector in any room with a hard fuel source (e.g. Wood or Coal).
They must also be tested on the day the tenancy commences.
What do I need to do?
It is your responsibility as the landlord to ensure that all upholstered furniture complies with the Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.
These regulations set levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery. Many domestic fires start with soft furnishings catching fire and many deaths are attributed to the highly poisonous fumes that are given off by the man-made foams and coverings.
The regulations aim to improve the fire safety of materials used in the manufacturing of furniture by introducing two new standards of fire resistance. These standards include two tests 1. the match test and 2. the cigarette test.
You must ensure a smoke detector is fitted on each floor (i.e. ground floor and first floor). A floor is defined by any level where the ceiling changes height or more than 1 step is present (if in doubt put another alarm in), you cannot have to many Smoke Alarm. Please Note: Heat Detectors are not a replacement for Smoke Alarms.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors:
Any room in the property with a hard fuel source (e.g. Wood or Coal) will require a Carbon Monoxide Detector. This includes Open Fires and Wood Burners even if they are not to be used (i.e. derelict open fire place) this is due to the possibility of them being used.
When do I need to test them?
Landlords are responsible to test and ensure the correct detectors and alarms are present and working on the first day of the tenancy (this must be done on the day the tenancy starts on the Tenancy Agreement). Some devices cannot be tested with a smoke spray but where possible this should be done as a simple button press only tests the battery and siren not the sensor. Similarly, Carbon Monoxide detectors need testing with a Carbon Monoxide Spray.
We offer a service to attend the property on the day of the tenancy commencing to test all the detectors with the correct sprays where possible, we will replace any batteries which need replacing. The cost of this is £50 inc vat, whilst onsite if the detectors fail we will replace them at a cost of £25 inc vat (battery operated only) each and retest to ensure compliance. If a hard wired detector fails we will leave a battery operated alarm temporarily and provide a quote for the hard wired detector to be replaced (due to building regulations detectors should be replaced on a like for like basis i.e. hard wired for hard wired).
Please Note: where a detector fails the tenants cannot begin the tenancy until this is resolved.
What if I don’t have Smoke Detectors or Carbon Monoxide Detectors?
Failure to have the correct alarms and detectors in place and working gives the local authority grounds to begin civil prosecution with a fine of up to £5000.
For more information see: