New smoke alarm law will save lives and reduce injuries

Thu 12 Mar, 2015

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service has welcomed the news that the Government plans to introduce life-saving legislation on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in rented properties.

The announcement that new regulations are to be issued which will make it compulsory for all landlords to fit the alarms was made by Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt at this week's Local Government Association conference in Gateshead. 

The Government’s own impact assessment suggests that more than 200 lives could be saved over the next 10 years. The legislation will be laid before Parliament ahead of the General Election.

Group Commander Neil Boustred, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's community safety team, said: "We strongly support the announcement. Private rented sector housing is increasing across Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, and this legislation will help enhance the safety of occupiers, as well as providing clear direction for private sector landlords on what is required of them.

"We are committed to reducing the impact that fire and other incidents can have on people living in their homes. This will lead to lives being saved and injuries being reduced in this type of housing across our area and nationally."

The announcement followed campaigns by the Local Government Association and the Chief Fire Officers' Association. Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt said: “Fire and rescue authorities will be very pleased that tenants in the private sector are to be given the protection from fire that they need. We will be working with them, and with the Chief Fire Officers' Association, to make the transition for landlords as smooth as possible.” 

The draft new laws will be enacted by the Government as part of the Energy Act, which was given Royal Assent in December 2013.