Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022
The new Statutory Instrument (SI) amending the Energy, England and Wales and Housing, England and Wales comes into force on the 1st October 2022
This SI amends the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, and now covers England and Wales.
This article briefly considers some of the implications of the new amendments on ‘relevant landlords’. A ‘relevant landlord’, as defined, is one who is the immediate landlord in respect of a specified tenancy (Clause 3 as amended).
Duties of relevant landlords in relation to prescribed alarms
There are a series of duties placed upon relevant landlords whenever a premises is occupied under the tenancy. Whilst there are implications for carbon monoxide alarms, in relation to smoke alarms, these are:
a smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation
that on the day a tenancy begins the landlord, or their representative, checks that the alarm is in working order
where a tenant or their nominated representative issues a report to the landlord that their alarm is not in working order, the alarm must be replaced or repaired as soon as is reasonably practicable.
Clause 5 has been amended to allow for the landlord to make representations to the local authority to challenge any remedial notice issued by the local authority.
There are mechanisms to enforce the terms of the issuance notice placed on landlords, including the local authority arranging for an authorised person to take the remedial action specified in the remedial notice (Clause 7).
The penalty for failing to address the remedial action specified in the remedial notice may lead the landlord to be subject to a penalty charge not exceeding £5 000.
Fire detection and fire alarm systems
The British Standard relating to fire detection and fire alarm systems is BS 5839-6. (BS 5839-6: 2019 Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings Part 6: Code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems in domestic premises)
BS 5839-6 provides recommendations for the following installations:
designed to accommodate a single family
houses in multiple occupation comprising a number of self-contained units, each designed to accommodate a single person or family
sheltered housing, including both units and the common areas
Whilst the amended SI makes no reference to any standards, BS 5839-6 is an important reference document for
all those involved in fire detection and fire alarm systems in domestic premises.
For a landlord to access the recommendations of BS 5839-6 is not typically necessary, however, further practical guidance on the recommendations of BS 5839-6 is provided for all interested parties in the publication ‘The practical guide to Grade D fire alarm systems’, written by Tim Benstead.
5 things you should know about fitting smoke detectors
EFIXX presenter Joe Robinson also talks about 5 things electricians should know about installing smoke detectors. Click here to open the video.