DOMESTIC SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM REGULATIONS TO BE UPDATED

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Carbon monoxide (CO) gas is produced by the incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels, such as gas, oil, wood and coal. When the gas enters the body it prevents the blood from bringing oxygen to cells, tissues, and organs.

The gas is colourless, odourless and tasteless and the effects can be similar to many common ailments such as food poisoning, viral infections, flu or simple tiredness however CO poisoning can cause permanent health damage and can quickly lead to death.

At the end of 2020 the government ran a consultation on introducing new requirements for the provision of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in domestic premises in England.

Under the proposals social landlords (e.g. local authorities and housing associations) would be required to install at least one smoke alarm on each storey of premises where there is a room wholly or partly used for living. This would include requirements to check that alarms are working at the start of each new tenancy and to repair or replace them if they are reported as faulty during a tenancy.

Also private and social landlords would be required to install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where a fixed combustion appliance is used (except for gas cookers). Again there would be requirements to check, repair and replace alarms.

Finally the proposals would require carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted alongside the installation of fixed combustion appliances (of any fuel type) except gas cookers.

Responses to the consultation were mostly published and the government has announced that they will be bringing forwarded legislation to amend the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and will be updating supporting guidance documents including the relevant guidance to the Building Regulations (Approved Document J).

Full details of the proposals and the official response can be found on the Gov.UK website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/domestic-smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-alarms#history

If renting domestic property is part of your business or you provide or arrange accommodation for your employees you should be aware of these changes and any potential impact they may have on your operations. Please speak to your normal PIB Risk Management contact or get in touch using info@pibrm.com  if you have any questions or would like assistance with planning for this change.