Private landlords and fire safety laws
Landlords in Surrey are being urged to act now to ensure they are complying with safety laws aimed at saving dozens of lives a year.
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 make it compulsory for all private landlords to fit smoke alarms in rented homes and have been in effect from October 2015.
Under the new laws smoke alarms must be fitted on every floor of the property as well as carbon monoxide alarms in properties which burn solid fuels. Landlords must check the alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy with potential penalties of up to £5,000 if they don't comply.
The Gov.uk website has additional guidance for landlords.
The Chief Fire Officers' Association (CFOA) has been campaigning for over two years for the legislation to be introduced and presented key evidence and research into the Government's national review of the issue.
"While deaths and injuries from fires have reduced considerably in recent years, the majority of victims continue to be those who are most vulnerable, often living in private rented accommodation," said Mark Cashin, Chair of CFOA's Home Safety Committee.
"We are delighted that the Government has worked with us to bring in these new laws which will improve the safety of families and stop dozens of people from losing their lives to fire each year."
While overall smoke alarm ownership in the country stands at around 90%, those living in private rented homes are far less likely to have a working smoke alarm. Statistically people are four times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there is no working smoke alarm and over the next 10 years it is estimated that the new laws will result in 231 fewer deaths and 5,860 less injuries.