United Kingdom

Carbon monoxide detector rules extended

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The government is tightening up rules on carbon monoxide detectors in rented homes in England, and landlords and agents are being urged to make sure that their properties will still comply.

After a consultation that ended last month, the government has pledged to amend the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 once time allows.

Private and social landlords will have to install carbon monoxide detectors in any room that contains a fixed fuel-burning appliance such as a gas boiler or fire – with the exception of gas cookers. Previously this only applied to appliances that burned solid fuel. Similar rules already exist in Scotland and Wales.

Private landlords or their agents will also have to fix or replace smoke or carbon monoxide alarms when told that they are faulty. Testing alarms during a tenancy will remain the responsibility of the tenant.

Accidental carbon monoxide poisoning kills around 60 people each year in England and Wales, and faulty gas appliances are a leading culprit. That number is already on the way down amid greater uptake of carbon monoxide alarms, mandatory gas safety certification in the private rented sector and annual awareness campaigns around the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Even so, ensuring that alarms are installed in as many homes as possible – whether rented or owner-occupied – could help to reduce it further still.

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