Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Alarms

There has been a recent change in the law regarding the fitting/supply of smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors. The smoke Alarm & Carbon Monoxide alarm (England) regulations 2015 states that Private sector Landlords are required from the 1st of October 2015 to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. a coal fire, wood burning stove). After that, the Landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

After the Test on the first day of the tenancy, tenants should take responsibility for their own safety and test all alarms regularly to make sure they are in working order. If the tenants find that their alarm/s are not in working order during the tenancy, they are advised to arrange the replacement of the batteries or the alarm itself with the relevant Landlord.

Does a Carbon Monoxide alarm need to be installed in rooms with gas or oil appliances?

Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in any room containing any fixed combustion appliance, except gas cookers. This means a fixed apparatus where fuel of any type is burned to generate heat.

Typically, these appliances are powered by gas, oil, coal, wood, etc., for example, gas or oil boilers, or log-burning stoves.

In the department’s view, a non-functioning purely decorative fireplace would not constitute a fixed combustion appliance.

(Taken from Department for Communities and Local Government – The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 pack).

However, the regulation does state the following:

‘As gas appliances can emit carbon monoxide, we would expect and encourage reputable Landlords to ensure that working carbon monoxide alarms are installed in rooms with these.’