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Smoke alarms must be fitted in all rented accommodation, Housing Minister Eddie Hughes MP announced today (23 November 2021).

Today’s announcement will mean housing providers are required by law to install smoke alarms in all social housing, and carbon monoxide alarms must be fitted in social and private rented properties with fixed appliances such as gas boilers or fires.

The regulation changes will also require:

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  • Carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted when new appliances such as gas boilers or fires are installed in any home.
  • Landlords and housing providers in social and private rented sectors to repair or replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once they are told they are faulty.

These reforms follow a commitment in the Social Housing White Paper published last year.

The White Paper set out proposals for wide-ranging reforms of the social housing sector which will drive up standards, including giving tenants a clear way to raise concerns and providing the regulator with stronger powers to take enforcement action.

The cost of the new requirements to install and maintain alarms will fall to property owners.

Eddie Hughes MP, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, said:

“It is fundamentally right for people to feel safe in their own homes – an issue I’ve advocated for many years.

Around 20 people are killed each year in accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and many more through house fires – but we know that simple interventions can stop these needless deaths.

I’m proud that the new rules being proposed will ensure even more homes are fitted with life-saving alarms.

Whether you own your home, are privately renting or in social housing – everyone deserves to feel safe and this is an incredibly important step in protecting those at risk.”

Jim Bywater, National Fire Chiefs Council, Domestic Detection Lead, said:

“NFCC welcomes the changes which we believe will make many more people safer in their homes.

We have campaigned for regulations to ensure that regardless of tenure, homes have adequate lifesaving detection.

The new regulations will contribute to reducing fire and carbon monoxide casualties and fatalities and bring consistency and greater protection to those living in both private and social rented homes.”

Guidance relating to where alarms are fitted and to ensure alarms meet relevant standards will also be updated.

The reforms follow a 3-month consultation, and changes will be brought forward through the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and the statutory guidance (Approved Document J) supporting Part J of the Building Regulations.

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