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Smoke Alarms

If the property is new, has been converted for another use, or has had specified extensions building regulations approved document B will apply

The requirements are as follows:

Mains powered smoke alarms with a back-up supply must be installed in the escape routes of the property- typically hallways and landings. Where the kitchen area is not separated from the stairway or escape route by a door there is an additional requirement for a compatible heat alarm in the kitchen area interlinked with the smoke alarms.

Installation of the system should be in accordance with BS 5839-6.


Carbon monoxide alarms

Where a new installation or replacement of a solid fuel appliance takes place after October 2010 building regulations approved document J will apply.


The requirements are as follows:

A CO alarm with battery designed to last the lift of the alarm and that complies with BS EN 50291 should be fitted in the room where the solid fuel application is installed. Alternatively, a mains powered type A alarm can be installed. Installation and siting should be in accordance with BS EN 50292.


Smoke alarms

BS 5839-6 fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings - Part 6: Code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire alarm systems in domestic premises, applies to both new build and existing dwellings, but is more commonly applied to the latter. It is recommended that a fire alarm system to install. Should this not be practicable table 1 in the document can be consulted for the minimum recommended system for a range of different property types. The most common types are as follows:


Single family dwellings and shared houses 1,2 & 3 storeys with no floor greater than 200sqm in area.mains powered smoke alarms with back-up should be installed in the escape routes of the property- typically hallways and landings. the alarms should be interlinked.

Installation and siting should be in accordance with the recommendations of BS 5839-6: 2013. BS 5839-6 should be consulted for additional information on other property types.


Carbon monoxide alarms

Where a solid fuel appliance in a dwelling was installed prior to 2010 there is no requirement under the legislation to fit a CO alarm. However, the installation of a CO alarm should be considered as good practice wherever a fuel burning appliance of any description - Solid fuel, gas, oil etc - is present in a dwelling. Installation and sitting should be in accordance with BS EN 50292.

What is required?

A working smoke alarm must be installed on each storey of a dwelling

A working carbon monoxide must be installed in every room containing a solid fuel burning appliance.

NOTE: This requirement does not apply where the solid fuel appliance as installed prior to October 2010. Building regulations applies to any new or replacement solid fuel appliance installed after October 2010 - See information below.


When is it required?

The new legislation comes into force on the 1st October 2015.

The alarms must be in working order at the start of each new tenacy.


Who does it affect?

All dwelling houses let by private landlords in England only

The requirements do not apply to an HMO or other dwelling licensed by a local authority as the requirements under terms of the existing licence will already exceed the minimum requirements detailed above.


What will happen if i ignore the regulations?

Your local authority can issue an enforcement notice giving you 28 days to conform

If you do not comply with the enforcement notice you can be fined up to £5,000


Which standards should you conform to?

The DCLG have started that they do not propose to publish new guidance for landlords on how you can meet the new legislation. It is therefore assumed that guidance already in existence in building regulations approved documents, BS 5839-6 and BS EN 50292 provide sufficient information for you to meet the requirements.


Existing guidance documents by dwelling type


New build, some extensions and conversions

In this type of property building regulations will apply. There are different approved documents for smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

New legislation for private landlords on provision of smoke alarms rented sector in England to ensure that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are appropriately installed in occupied rent dwellings, and make sure that such alarms are in roper working order at the start of a new tenancy.

Residential Landlords Association