Fire, Smoke and CO2 Alarms
Fire, Smoke and CO2 Alarms
NEW UPDATE TO REGULATIONS FROM OCTOBER 2022.
Following parliamentary, approval both social and private rented sector (PRS) landlords will be legally required to repair or replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once they have been informed that they are faulty, although testing throughout the duration of a tenancy will remain the resident's responsibility.
All landlords will also now be obliged to ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room of their homes where there is a fixed combustion appliance (including a gas boiler). Where a new fixed combustion appliance is installed, a carbon monoxide alarm will be required to be installed by law. Gas cooker appliances are excluded from the new rules.
The key changes are:
- smoke alarms will be mandatory in all rented homes.
- carbon monoxide alarms will be mandatory in rooms with a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers) in both private and social rented homes.
- carbon monoxide alarms will also be mandatory upon installation of any heating appliance (excluding gas cookers) in all tenures through building regulations.
- landlords will be expected to repair or replace alarms once informed that they are faulty.
The UK Government will also amend the statutory guidance (Approved Document J) supporting Part J of the Building Regulations relating to where alarms are fitted and to ensure that alarms meet relevant standards.
Trying to identify the correct type of fire detection or CO2 system for a particular property can be a bit of a minefield, you will discover misleading, contradicting or even false information listed on lots of different websites. With different manufacturers making their own types of devices, its difficult to navigate your way around what protection you need.
So, how do you protect your property?
Changes to BS5839-6, the British Standard that deals with fire alarms and fire detection systems within dwellings were amended in 2019, this could mean the level of protection you may already have installed may not be adequate or compliant. This is especially important in rental properties, whether thats a long term rental property or, short term holiday lets including AirB&B. If you rent a property for any period of time, you have certain legal responsibilities to the people you let to, even if its just for a few days. Failure to comply with these recent changes could leave you liable for prosecution, a fine or, if the worst should happen, being held responsible for someones death. It's always advisable to have a professional specify your requirements, they will make sure you're installing the maximum amount of protection for your tenants, as well as being fully compliant with regards your legal responsibilities. It's not always wise to take the word of estate or letting agents, as sometimes we've found the guidance they give can be equally misleading. ElectriciansOnCall have been supplying and installing fire and CO2 detection equipment for over 25 years. Whether its a single room studio apartment or, a large commercial property, we offer the knowledge and experience to make sure you're properly protected.
There are two main categories:
- Category P systems – Protect property
- Category L systems – Protect life
Of these 2 categories, the majority of installations, when you live in the property or, rent the property out, fall under the category of L type systems, they are installed to protect life. The inclusion of Category P requirements within fire detection systems are there to protect the property.
Buildings covered by BS5839-6:2019
BS 5839 Part 6 covers the following domestic building types:
- Multi-storey houses
- Individual flats
- Individual maisonettes
- Mobile homes
- Individual sheltered accommodation as well as their common parts
- Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
- Certain NHS housing in the community
- Shared houses
- Houses divided into several self-contained single-family dwelling units
Table 1 the minimum category and grade requirements under the latest amendment to BS5839-6:2019.
So, we're presuming the property you require protection for is within category L. So what do you have to install, and where?
This is the grading system.
Grading is dictated by the property use, the size of the property, as well as who will use the property. Other factors to consider would be if the property was standing empty for periods of time, whether lots of different people, not familiar with the property would be using the property regularly or, whether there are vulnerable persons in the property. In order to correctly specify the correct grade of system, these and other factors are all taken into account. This information is collected as part of the survey for the property to be protected. Although there are set grades stated as the minimum level of protection, you may find that once the survey had been completed, and all factors taken into account, your grading may need to be tweaked in order to offer the best level of protection in your particular situation.
Fire protection for landlords and tenants
As a landlord, you might feel your trying to do everything right with regards the smoke and heat alarms installed in your rental properties. You check each device before the start of the tenancy, which you’re legally obliged to but, at the end of the day, if you don’t live at the property, you’re reliant on your tenants regularly testing the installed devices and, god forbid, not removing them if they prove a nuisance. This could potentially leave your largest investment without protection should a fire occur. What’s more, if it’s found during any subsequent investigation that a device was removed, you could find your insurance company don’t want to pay out. For this very reason, and for total peace of mind for both you and your tenants, ElectriciansOnCall are now able to offer live remote monitoring of the smoke, heat and CO2 alarms installed in your rental properties. Live monitoring 24 hours a day, 7 days as week. Should one of the installed devices sound an alarm, develop a fault or, even be removed from its base, we are immediately notified. If you wish, you can also be notified via text message or email at the same time.
You can then choose what action you would like us to take.
1. We can attend the property in the case of an alert.
2. We can contact the tenant to check everything’s OK.
3. We can wait for you to contact them and then contact us.
Whatever you decide, we’re happy to offer immediate attendance if required, 24 hours day at our reduced account holders rate or, we can arrange to call at a more convenient time to deal with any issues. All the devices we install are comprehensively covered by our 5 year, no quibble guarantee, if they develop a fault within this time, we’ll replace them for free. The only thing we obviously can’t cover is damage or vandalism caused by your tenants, everything else is included.
What’s more, if you sign up to our monitored alarm service, as well as live monitoring, we’ll even visit the property every year and clean, check and test all the installed devices free of charge. After this annual service and inspection a certificate of ongoing compliance will also be issued. We're sure you will agree, when it comes to total peace of mind for your tenants, and you the landlord, nothing else comes close.
For more information about our live monitoring services or, any other issues or questions you may have, contact you local office today.