Fire chiefs are urging landlords in Brighton and Hove to be prepared for a change in the law.
A new safety law aimed at saving lives – the Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 – is expected to come into effect in October, subject to parliamentary approval.
But East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said that landlords should prepare now. Fire safety chiefs were already raising awareness in readiness for the new law to ensure that landlords knew their new responsibilities.
The fire service said: “The regulations make it compulsory for all landlords to fit smoke alarms in rented homes.
“Under the new laws smoke alarms must be fitted on every level of the property as well as fitting carbon monoxide alarms in properties which burn solid fuels.
“Landlords must check the alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy with landlords potentially facing penalties of up to £5,000 if they don’t comply.
“Government has provided East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service with a limited number of free smoke alarms, which will be prioritised and allocated to the most vulnerable households, via the local authority.”
Head of community risk management Neal Robinson said: “We are keen to work with local landlords to improve the safety of tenants across our area.
“We would urge those landlords who need to take action to comply with the new regulations to contact us to express their interest in attending a seminar to learn more about these changes.
“As the onus is on landlords to ensure the fire safety of their tenants, as well as offer protection against carbon monoxide poisoning, it is imperative that they are fully aware of these imminent changes.
“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.
“While overall smoke alarm ownership in the country stands at around 90 per cent, 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 ten years it is estimated that the new laws will result in 231 fewer deaths and 5,860 less injuries.”
Landlords can attend a seminar on the changes. Contact community safety admin and safeguarding co-ordinator Aimee Field on 01323 462443 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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