In a move to increase the safety of tenants in rented accommodation, a new law will require landlords to provide smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
The legislation, which is due to come into force in October 2015, is estimated to help prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year. It will require landlords to ensure that a smoke alarm is installed on each storey of a premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. This would bring private rented properties into line with existing building regulations that already require newly-built homes to have hard-wired smoke alarms installed.
In addition carbon monoxide alarms must be fitted in any room which is used as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel-burning appliance. Prior to any new tenancy beginning the landlord will be required to ensure that each alarm is in proper working order.
Testing regularly will remain the tenant’s responsibility.
Those who fail to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will face sanctions and could face a civic penalty of up to £5,000.
To ensure that smoke alarms are in a good working order and do not have their batteries removed by tenants it is best to install sealed longlife smoke alarms. Safelincs also offers sealed longlife CO alarms, again assuring landlords the safe longterm protection of their tenants.
After having taken the precaution of having ones chimney swept and boiler serviced you would think that you would be safe from carbon monoxide poisoning. Unfortunately, this was not the case for an elderly retired law lecturer who died from carbon monoxide poisoning the morning after having his coal pellet burning central heating boiler and flue cleaned by a chimney sweep.
What makes this case even more tragic is, that the gentleman’s wife had suffered from chest pains and a bad headache that day and had been admitted to hospital, as she was an angina sufferer. It was later confirmed that she had also been suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. As her husband did not complain of any symptoms at the time, carbon monoxide poisoning was overlooked and he stayed at home. The gentleman was found slumped in a chair in his home the next morning and was declared dead at the scene.
This case highlights how valuable a carbon monoxide alarm can be. If only one had been installed at this home, this senseless death could have been prevented. If you use fossil fuels (gas, oil, coal and wood) within your home, you could be at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, sore throat, dizziness and nausea. More severe poisoning can result in confusion, drowsiness and difficulty breathing. Ultimately it leads to coma and death.
Further information can be found in the Belfast Telegraph