Tenants’ Safety & Carbon Monoxide by Heather Hilder on February 2, 2022 “Tenants’ Safety & Carbon Monoxide” Changes to carbon monoxide alarms landlords need to know Are you a landlord? Then you’ll know that as the owner of the rental property, you are responsible for the safety of tenants. In our latest blog, we reveal changes to carbon monoxide alarms that landlords need to know. The NHS reports that in England and Wales there are 60 annual deaths caused by carbon monoxide exposure. Often, when danger arises, we rely on our senses and instincts. However, carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas. You cannot see nor smell it. Therefore, it requires a specific solution. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are devices that can prevent ongoing cases of carbon monoxide poisoning. This can cause long-term damage to a person’s health or in more severe cases cause death. Here is everything landlords need to know about the carbon monoxide alarm changes. New Carbon Monoxide Alarm rules In 2015, the government introduced the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm regulations for landlords to follow. Last November (2021), the government put forward plans to extend the existing rules surrounding smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rented properties across England. In so doing and by extending these legal rules and requirements regarding smoke and carbon monoxide, the government aims to keep properties free from hazards. Landlords within the social and private rented sector (PRS) must replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarms right away if they are faulty. Installing these devices in the wrong location, incorrectly, or leaving them unchecked by a professional, could result in a fault. It’s recommended that landlords – or letting agents on their behalf – conduct regular checks on these devices. Something as simple as a dead battery could cost a life. In addition to this, landlords must install a carbon monoxide alarm in all rooms with fixed combustion appliances. Boilers, fires, and warm air heaters are examples of common appliances that are often in different rooms of the home. These changes will be brought forward through the statutory guidance (Approved Document J) supporting Part J of the Building Regulations and the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning According to the NHS, when fuels from gas, wood, coal, and oil fail to completely burn, carbon monoxide is formed. Properties with inadequately installed or faulty boilers, gas fired cookers, and central heating systems are in danger of exposure to carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide alarms are low-cost, lifesaving devices. They can detect the emission of poisonous gas at an early stage. From as little as £15, these alarms can prevent serious health problems. Registered technicians should carry out the appropriate replacements and checks whenever carbon monoxide is detected. Carbon Monoxide Danger Zone This advice is not just for landlords. Tenants must also have a strong level of knowledge and awareness in case danger does occur. According to the Gas Safe Register, most people are unaware of the detrimental effects of carbon monoxide. As a result, they would not be able to recognise a leak. Only one in five (20%) participants said they would be aware of a carbon monoxide leak in their homes. Although these findings do not reveal whether landlords and tenants formed part of the sample of over 3,000 people, it is likely some did. Speaking with tenants and putting procedures in place will ensure that they know what to do if the alarm stops working. Making tenants aware not only keeps them safe but will establish trust. Landlords who follow these new rules will make being indoors far safer. It will stop preventable deaths and long-term health problems amongst tenants. Conducting regular checks on existing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your properties can save lives. Our recommendations are: Work closely with an experienced, reliable letting agent Check alarms often Make sure tenants know about the ever-present dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning Do you have any queries about landlord lettings and property management services? Or about Tenants’ Safety and Carbon Monoxide? Call 01273-735237 or email email@example.com.