New Smoke Alarm Regulations for Rented Homes in Wales

From 15th July 2022, the Renting Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) (Wales) Regulations come into force. All landlords in Wales will need to ensure their properties meet the new legislation in order to be classified as fit for human habitation. New rules on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are stipulated as part of the regulations. So, what does this mean for landlords in Wales?

new regulations for rented homes in Wales

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rented properties in Wales

To comply with the new smoke alarm regulations, landlords must ensure all rented properties have a minimum of:

  • At least one hard-wired smoke alarm (mains powered) on each level of the home
  • All hard-wired alarms must be interlinked, either via a wireless radio-interlinking system or wired interlinking system
  • A carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a fuel burning appliance (gas, oil or solid fuel)
  • A heat alarm in the kitchen 

View our range of alarms suitable for the new Welsh regulations.


Protecting tenants and property from fire

Whilst the above regulations set out a minimum smoke alarm requirement, it also recommends that in larger or more complex properties additional smoke alarms should be considered in order to fully protect tenants. Any alarms additional to the new regulations are not required to be interlinked or mains-powered.

With 60% of fires in the home beginning in the kitchen, a heat alarm is recommended. Heat alarms can be installed in the kitchen and will not be triggered by cooking fumes or steam, meaning less false alarms.

new smoke alarm regulations
Consider installing additional smoke and heat alarms in larger properties

What is the deadline for complying with the new Welsh regulations?

For smoke alarms, where there is already a tenancy in place on 15th July 2022, landlords will have until 15th July 2023 to comply with the new smoke alarm regulations. If a new tenancy starts after the 15th July 2022 deadline, smoke alarms must meet the new requirements at the start of the tenancy. The regulations for providing a CO alarm in each room with a fuel burning appliance is applicable in all rental homes regardless of tenancy agreements from 15th July 2022. More clarification can be sought in this in-depth smoke alarm guide from the Landlords Guild.

Which alarms do I need for my rental property in Wales?

Landlords need to provide mains-powered smoke alarms that are interlinking on each level of the rental home. Carbon monoxide alarms should also be provided. See above for full guidance on the new regulations. View our range of alarms suitable for the new Welsh regulations.

Who is responsible for the alarms once they are installed?

Under the new smoke alarms regulations in Wales, landlords are responsible for maintaining and replacing smoke alarms when necessary. It is important to note the date of alarm installation and when the alarm will require replacing. Smoke alarm sensors usually have a lifespan of 10 years (always check the manufacturer’s instructions), after which they become less effective. Landlords are not responsible for testing the smoke alarms.

Do hard-wired smoke alarms need to be installed by an electrician?

Yes. Hard-wired smoke alarms need to be installed by an electrician.

What is the penalty for not complying with the new smoke alarm rules?

The regulations have been updated to protect the safety of tenants. Radio-interlinked alarms alert residents sooner, allowing more time to escape in an emergency. Mains-powered alarms give more certainty to tenants and landlords than battery powered alarms. Under the new Fitness of Homes for Human Habitation legislation, any property that is not fitted with compliant smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will be deemed as not fit for human habitation. Until this is resolved, the tenant would not be required to pay rent.

Mel Saunders

Marketing Designer

Mel joined our team at the start of 2020. She creates our marketing materials and manages our social media accounts.

Save Money On Your Energy Bills! Draught-proof Your Home

With electric and gas prices rising in 2022, making your home as energy efficient as possible should be a priority for anyone looking to save money on their energy bills. According to Which? draught-proofing is one of the top 10 ways to reduce energy bills. DraughtEx and Gapseal draught excluders are an easy and cost-effective way to insulate your home and could cut your heating bills significantly.

save money on your energy bills
Save money on your energy bills by draught-proofing your home

Make your home more energy efficient

Stop heat escaping through gaps and cracks to make your home more energy efficient. By reducing heat loss, less energy will be required to heat your home. The EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of your home which takes into account the energy performance of windows and floors, can be improved by draught-proofing. Not only does a high EPC rating make for a more comfortable living environment, it may also help prospective buyers when selling your home. Landlords in England and Wales are required by law to get an EPC rating of band E or above when letting out properties. Draught-proofing is an easy solution to improving the energy efficiency and EPC rating whilst also reducing your carbon footprint.

Draught-proof your home with DraughtEx
Use DraughtEx to plug draughty floorboard gaps

Save money on your energy bills

Draught-proofing can significantly lower your energy bills as less heating is required to maintain your home at a comfortable temperature. The Energy Saving Trust predicts that insulating the floorboards on the ground floor of a gas-heated home could save as much as £85 per year. DraughtEx Floorboard Gap Filler is ideal for this purpose. In older houses with sash windows, Gapseal Sash Window Filler can also help to reduce heat loss around windows.

Save money by draught-proofing your home with Gapseal
Use Gapseal to reduce heat loss around sash windows

Easy, no-mess draught excluders

Both DraughtEx and Gapseal offer an easy, cost-effective solution to cold draughts. With no gluing required, both products are supplied with a free applicator tool to push the flexible tube into the gap, plugging the draught. The flexible nature of DraughtEx and Gapseal means that over time, the filler will not crack or age, giving long lasting draught protection.


Why not order a sample pack of DraughtEx or Gapseal and see the difference it could make to your home and energy bills?

DraughtEx Floorboard Gap Filler
  • Floorboard draught excluder
  • Supplied with FREE applicator tool
  • Available in 3 sizes: thin, standard and thick
  • FREE economy delivery

£7.91 ex VAT
£9.49 inc VAT
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Gapseal Sash Window Gap Filler
  • Sash window draught excluder
  • Supplied with FREE applicator tool
  • Suitable for 2-7mm gaps
  • FREE economy delivery

£11.66 ex VAT
£13.99 inc VAT
Buy Now

Mel Saunders

Marketing Designer

Mel joined our team at the start of 2020. She creates our marketing materials and manages our social media accounts.

How to safely increase ventilation in schools

With funding now available for schools in Scotland and Wales to improve air circulation, we look at how the money can be best spent to increase ventilation without compromising fire safety. Fire doors are critical to any building’s infrastructure, but they can be a barrier to good air circulation. Propping or wedging open fire doors, or cutting the bottom off a fire door could be dangerous. The door may fail to prevent the spread of fire. So, what are the legal and safe alternatives to increase ventilation in schools?

increase ventilation with a fire door retainer on classroom doors
Dorgard Fire Door Retainers will safely hold open classroom fire doors to improve ventilation

Improve air circulation with a fire door retainer

The Dorgard Fire Door Retainer and Freedor Door Closer from Fireco can improve ventilation without compromising fire safety. By holding open fire doors safely, they allow air to circulate throughout the building. Doors are released to close as soon as the fire alarm sounds, protecting pupils, staff and property.

Dorgard Fire Door Retainers and Freedor Door Closers are a relatively low-cost solution. Both devices are wireless and battery operated meaning they are simple to install with no wiring required. They can be easily installed on classroom fire doors by your handyman. These devices work with your existing fire alarm by ‘listening’ for the sound of the alarm before releasing the door to close. Dorgard SmartSound and Freedor SmartSound can be trained to listen to the specific sound of your alarm. This means they are unaffected by background noise.

Safely increase ventilation by holding fire doors open safely
A Freedor Free-swing Closer will hold the fire door open at any angle

Allow ventilation with an intumescent grill

Air flow can be increased in schools by installing fire-proof ventilation grilles into fire doors. This should only be done after checking that the fire door can be adapted to include intumescent grilles. Due to the varying construction of fire doors, some doors cannot be safely altered in this way. Some doors may need an additional hard wood liner fitted in the newly-created aperture. Fire doors that require cold smoke seals may not be suitable for installing intumescent grilles. As the grilles rely on heat from fire to activate them to swell, cold smoke may be able to pass through before this happens. Always consult your fire risk assessment for the type of seals that are required before carrying out any work on your fire doors.

Air transfer vents fitted into fire doors should always be fire-rated. Intumescent grilles are specially designed to swell when exposed to heat, closing the gap and maintaining the fire resistance of the door. A standard air transfer vent would not do this and so would invalidate the fire door certification and fail to stop the spread of fire.

increase ventilation with fire rated air transfer vents
Increase ventilation with fire-rated air transfer vents

Safelincs fire door services

If you are unsure about whether your fire doors are fit for purpose, or require support to install fire door retainers contact our fire door team on 01507 464185 or email firedoors@safelincs.co.uk. Our qualified engineers can visit your site anywhere in the UK to inspect existing doors or carry out installation work.

FAQs

Is it safe to cut the bottom off a fire door to improve ventilation?

Fire doors should never be cut to improve ventilation. The maximum gap under a fire door is 8-10mm depending on the door specification. A gap any larger than that could result in the door failing to prevent the spread of fire. Some fire doors can be trimmed to fit if they are too tall for the door opening. Always consult the manufacturer to ensure it is possible to trim the door without affecting its fire rating. Great care should be taken when altering fire doors so that the door certification is not invalidated.

What funding is available for schools to improve ventilation?

A new funding package of £5 million has recently been announced by Nicola Sturgeon. Councils in Scotland will receive funds so they can take necessary steps to improve ventilation in school classrooms. This is to help stop the spread of covid 19 in educational environments. £300,000 of this funding has been allocated for improvements to doors. There is some controversy over the suggestion by Nicola Sturgeon that this should be used to ‘undercut doors to increase ventilation’. The fire service is keen to stress that this should not be done to fire doors. The fire doors would not be able to prevent the spread of fire and smoke with a large gap underneath. For fire doors, a fire door retainer is a more practical, safe and legal option for schools.

Wales already has funding in place for schools to improve ventilation and be more covid-secure. England has no funding package at this time, although CO2 monitors for schools have been provided free of charge.

Mel Saunders

Marketing Designer

Mel joined our team at the start of 2020. She creates our marketing materials and manages our social media accounts.