The question of whether to make it compulsory to install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors into private rental sector homes is under consideration by the Government.
Such devices are credited with saving dozens of lives each year by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA), which welcomed the Government’s review of the use of legislative powers to enforce their installation.
The Energy Act, which was given royal assent in December last year, includes an amendment that opens the way for new powers to be introduced that would make it a legal requirement for landlords to fit smoke alarms and CO detectors in all private rented homes.
While the Act gives the Government the powers to require safety equipment to be fitted, it decided to carry out the review to determine whether or not the proposed changes would have widespread support. The review closed in late March and – as at the time of writing – submissions were still being assessed.
The CFOA welcomed the review. The organisation has been campaigning for the legislation to be introduced for some two year, it said.
“Death and injuries from fires have reduced considerably in recent years as a result of better housing conditions, and major fire safety campaigns carried out by fire and rescue services across the country,” said Mark Cashin, Cheshire’s deputy chief fire officer, who is also the chair of the CFOA’s home safety committee.
“But the majority of victims continue to be those who are most vulnerable, often living in private rented accommodation. Making it a legal requirement for all landlords to fit smoke alarms will improve the safety of hundreds of families and stop dozens of people from losing their lives to fire each year.”
The Welsh Government’s decision to make sprinklers compulsory in all new build homes as of 2016 has proven controversial.
Can they really save lives or is this just another layer of regulation that will hit developers in the pocket? Read more on this story.