Landlords urged to act ahead of new safety laws

Wed 8 Jul, 2015

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service is urging private rental landlords to act now to ensure they are ready for new safety laws due to come into force this autumn.

The regulations will make it compulsory for landlords to fit a smoke alarm on every level of their property as well as a carbon monoxide alarm in every room containing a solid fuel burning appliance, such as a coal fire or wood-burning stove. 

Although tenants will be responsible for testing and maintaining the alarms, landlords will be required to check that the alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy. Enforcement of the regulations will be the responsibility of the local housing authority, which can issue a remedial notice requiring a landlord to fit the alarms, and which has the power to levy a penalty charge of up to £5,000 on any landlord who fails to comply.

To help landlords prepare for the new regulations, the Government has provided each fire and rescue service with funding to buy a limited number of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. These alarms will be made available at three fire stations (see below for details).to eligible landlords of high-risk properties.

Karen Lock, from Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's Prevention team, said: "Many landlords will already have fitted alarms in their properties. However, we would urge those who need to take action to comply with the new regulations to take advantage of the limited number of free alarms we have available.

“The smoke alarms will only be provided to landlords of privately rented properties in our area which do not already have functioning smoke alarms. We will provide one free smoke alarm per floor. A limited amount of carbon monoxide alarms are also available under this scheme.”

Landlords can assess their eligibility for these alarms by completing a self-assessment form. If eligible, they must present these forms in person at one of the collection points.

The alarms will be issued on a first come, first served basis at the following stations on the following dates between 11am and 4pm:     

  • Thursday 23 July 2015, Aylesbury Fire Station, Stocklake, Aylesbury, HP20 1BD.
  • Monday 3 August 2015, Beaconsfield Fire Station, 2 Skelton Close, Beaconsfield, HP9 1EA.
  • Wednesday 5 August 2015, Broughton Fire Station, Childs Way, Broughton, Milton Keynes, MK10 9AP.

Members of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's Prevention team will be on hand to give advice on installation.

The regulations are expected to come into effect from 1 October 2015, subject to Parliamentary approval. The Government has estimated that the new laws will save more than 200 lives and prevent around 6,000 injuries over the next 10 years.