According to studies, there are over 30 thousand house fires and hundreds of injuries caused by carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning each year.
Simply testing your smoke, heat and CO alarms may not be enough to stay safe, you also have expiry dates to think about. Once your alarm has expired, there is a possibility that your alarms will not work as required when you really need them.
Thankfully, all alarms are clearly marked so you will know exactly when to replace them.
We would recommend that you check your smoke, heat and CO alarms once a week. Testing your alarms like this is a great form of maintenance, but you will also need to clean off any dust and debris that may build up on them.
Smoke, heat and CO alarms should be replaced after the expiry date found on the back or side of the unit, this is normally a maximum interval of ten years.
Hardwired CO, smoke and heat alarms are not part of the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) but we would check them at that time and report back as a matter of course.
1. Ensure at least one smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of their homes where there is a room used as living accommodation. This has been a legal requirement in the private rented sector since 2015.
2. Ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers).
3. Ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once informed and found that they are faulty.
If you’re renting out a ‘house in multiple occupation’ or HMO, there should be a smoke alarm in all habitable spaces (bedrooms and living rooms) that lead to a hallway but don’t have a fire door. If the rented property isn’t an HMO, there must be a smoke alarm on each storey.
Beyond that, it’s the tenants who are responsible for testing the CO, heat and smoke alarms, then informing their landlords of potential issues.
Landlords can book a visit to ensure that their properties meet the required guidance.
We would recommend homeowners put a smoke alarm on each storey as a bare minimum. Ideally you should also put one in each main living space that leads to a hallway, unless it has a fire door.
Heat alarms should be fitted in kitchens, where smoke alarms aren’t viable. This will not cause any false alarms when you are cooking.
Place CO alarms no further than three metres from any fixed gas-burning appliance. CO is heavier than smoke, so these detectors should be placed near your gas boiler, close to your kitchen stove, and in the same room as your gas fire.