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Monday, January 14, 2013

Fire alarms - a requirement?

Fire or smoke alarms are a difficult subject for many landlords.

We know that it make sense from a safety point of view but how many of us have actually not got one in our own home because every time you more than crisp your toast they get set off?  Much to the annoyance to you and your neighbours.

Since 1992 it has been a legal requirement to have mains powered smoke alarms fitted to all new buildings.  As yet there is no requirement to have them retro fitted.  If you have a HMO property there are stricter controls and requirements relating to fire safety and in particular smoke or fire alarms.

If you do own a HMO the Housing Act 2004, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) introduced duties in relation to fire safety in common areas of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

I've got a property which was refurbished with a mains wire fire alarm.  The result?  Every tenant seemed to take great pleasure in disconnecting it.  Is this my responsibility?  Let's face it how many owner occupiers would do the same.  Whilst landlords have a duty of care for their tenants.  I am not aware that this extends to a any statute that stipulates that fire alarms need to be fitted and then maintained in working order.  In reality it seems to be a matter of conscious for many landlords.  I'd be interested in what other landlords think.

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BAPM said...

I have a couple of properties, like you they are both fitted with fire alarms. When a tenant moves in we go through the house together documenting if there are any problem areas. The fire alarm is tested and they sign off on this. Once they have signed off as far as I am concerned it is their responsibility to let me know if there are any problems. If they choose to disconnect it then they are putting themselves at risk.

Pigzmickey said...

I install heat detectors which are part of the intruder alarm system, this way they sound the main alarm if triggered & continue to function off battery should the power be lost to the property.
Also, no "Burnt Toast" false alarms!?!