Fire and rescue authorities across England and Wales are calling for it to be mandatory for smoke alarms to be installed in all privately rented properties according to a press release from the Local Government Association.

Under current laws only houses of multiple occupancy (HMO) are legal required to install smoke detectors, even though in 2013 a law was passed which required private landlords to provide smoke detectors.  This law went out to consultation and has yet to be brought into force.

Fire and rescue authorities are also calling for landlords to have electrical wiring safety checks carried out annually, along the same lines as the current requirement for annual gas safety certification.

This key issue will be part of the Local Government Associations (LGA) report which sets out proposals on how fire and rescue services can save public money whilst improving fire safety and will be discussed at the annual fire conference in March this year.  Chair of the LGA’s fire service management committee, Cllr Jeremy Hilton said: “Many people will be shocked that most landlords are not obliged to install smoke alarms. The current laws are outdated and inadequate – and without question lives are being put at risk.”

Householders are four times more likely to die in a house fire if there are no working smoke detectors installed according to the article.  Cllr Hilton also added that: “This is why we are calling on the Government to enact the law and ensure all private landlords install smoke alarms – and save hundreds of lives every year” adding “A working smoke alarm can make the difference between life and death and should be seen as every bit as essential as a lock on the front door. By spending just a few pounds, landlords can save lives.

From a landlord’s point of view, installing smoke alarms in your rented property could help make your property more appealing to prospective tenants by providing that extra peace of mind.

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