In October of this year (2015) Landlords are required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties. Failing to do this could leave you with a fine of up to £5000, and more importantly you are putting your tenants at risk.
We believe this to be a good move because as we all know, that beep can save lives in an emergency, even if it is the most irritating noise when we forget those sausages in the grill because the cat has started to harass your toddler for his ham sandwich!
In reports of 2013-2014, it has been noted that Dwellings with no smoke alarm accounted for 38% of deaths in home fires in Great Britain, and nearly one fifth of deaths occurred where no smoke alarm worked.
You can have 2 main types of smoke alarms;-
A Mains Powered smoke alarm, with battery back up. This is wired into your house electrical supply, and is backed up with a battery in case of power failure, of which the battery should be replaced every year.
These now have to now be installed in all new buildings and in properties following a major refurbishment.
A Sealed Battery Powered alarm, of which the whole unit will need replacing after the given battery life warranty, usually 10 years.
The choice is completely yours and both are there to save lives, it depends on which you see as more suitable for your property/needs.
Once you have decided which alarms to install, you are given another few options:
Ionisation – These are the cheapest option and are sensitive at detecting the small particles of smoke mainly produced by fast burning fires i.e. paper or wood. They will detect fires of this type before the smoke gets too thick. Generally installed in landings.
Optical – These are more expensive, but are more sensitive to slower burning fires which produce the larger particles. These are the fires caused by smouldering material which give off more smoke before flaming. Generally installed in Bedrooms, living rooms and hallways
The latter is recommended for installation near to kitchens as it is less likely to be set off by that piece of bread in the toaster which gets forgotten while you run off to get the kids stuff ready!
Heat - You can also have a heat detector installed; they are set off by a rise in temperature and are not sensitive to smoke. They cover a smaller range than smoke detectors though, so there would need to be more of them installed to cover the same area if you were to go with this option, but handy for the kitchen if you are like me for ‘caramelising’ your dinner on numerous occasions?!
Generally installed in Kitchens and garages.
We cannot recommend enough making sure your alarms are certified to the British Standard, and installed by a competent electrician should you choose mains powered alarms.
Please also make sure you regularly test your alarms, and run the vacuum pipe over it to remove any dust particles which may get lodged inside.
Carbon monoxide detectors also have to be installed in rented properties by the landlord. Ensuring that it is in the right place, will alert you to the presence of carbon monoxide, and could save a life!
We could go further in discussions about combined alarms, how many you would need, if you require a visual or vibrate alert, lighting and costs, but that is also what we are here for, and we are just a phone call/email away!
Tel: 01323 766765