Carbon Monoxide & Smoke detectors - Rental safety
Posted on 3rd May 2022
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that can build up in homes and businesses if it is not properly ventilated.
It is the most common cause of poisoning and death by inhalation.
This blog post will provide information about what carbon monoxide detectors are, how they work,
who checks them before someone moves into rented accommodation in the UK and who's responsible for arranging this check, when these checks need to be done (which include annual checks),
why these checks need to be done (for example: detection of faulty appliances)
and what legal actions can happen if this doesn't happen.
We also cover some dangers associated with carbon monoxide poisoning as well as how it happens.
Carbon monoxide detectors are devices that measure the amount of carbon monoxide gas in the air.
They come in a variety of different forms, including alarms and plugs. Carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased at most hardware stores or online.
Carbon monoxide detectors work by measuring the amount of carbon dioxide (CO) in an area.
Carbon dioxide is a product that's released when you breathe and it can't be seen or smelled, but at high levels CO becomes toxic to humans.
When there are dangerous amounts of carbon dioxide present, such as from faulty appliances like boilers or heaters, the carbon monoxide detector sounds an alarm to warn you of high levels.
Who checks these detectors before someone moves into rented accommodation? Who is responsible for arranging this check?
Depending on what type of tenancy agreement it is (what kind of rental contract that exists), landlords are typically required by law to ensure that all appliances on the premises are safe and in good working order.
So, at a minimum, landlords need to ensure that carbon monoxide detectors have been installed by a qualified technician and they should specify when these checks were carried out.
Landlords of private properties or individual homeowners who rent their property to tenants are responsible for arranging carbon monoxide detector checks. Businesses who let property to tenants do not have this responsibility.
When do these checks need to be done?
The law does not specify when carbon monoxide detector checks should take place, but it's generally recommended that they're carried out annually. Landlords may want to do these checks more frequently if they have a history of carbon monoxide leaks.
What legal actions can happen if this doesn't happen?
Failing to install and carry out annual checks on these devices can lead to hefty fines and, in some cases, imprisonment.
Smoke detectors are needed in rented accommodation and should be on everyone's checklist when moving into a new place. Landlords are responsible for installing smoke detectors, while tenants are required to keep them operable and in good working order.
If there is no working smoke detector in your rental property, you could face legal actions.
Here is a breakdown of what you need to know:
-Smoke detectors should be installed in every bedroom, hallway, and living room in a rental property.
-Landlords are responsible for installing smoke detectors and ensuring they are in working order.
-Tenants are required to keep the detectors operable and in good working order. This means replacing the batteries in them, when needed.
-The landlord will be required to install new detectors if they are not working or have been removed by a tenant without permission. Failure to do so could result in legal action by the local fire department.
-If your smoke detector is older than ten years old, you may want to consider installing a new one.
Smoke detectors have a lifespan of around ten years, depending on which ones you have, so make sure you check what the life span for the ones in your home/property are as some can be much less than 10 years.
-Smoke detectors are not only required by law, but they can also save your life.
Make sure you and your family are safe by following these simple tips.
If there isn't one already installed in your rented property then contact your local council for more information on how they can help you get one fitted.
If anyone living in the house smokes (including visitors) ensure that an ashtray is not placed near a combustible item such as curtains or loose clothing.
Every year, around 50 people die in house fires where there was no working smoke alarm fitted, so it's vital to have one installed and tested weekly by pressing the test button.
The landlord should ensure that every tenant knows how many detectors are present in the property and where they are located.
It is important that both landlords and tenants are aware of their responsibilities when it comes to fire safety, and take the necessary precautions to ensure everyone's safety.
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