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Newham landlords urged to install smoke alarms

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 August 2015

A fire in Chadwell Heath destroyed a house last night

A fire in Chadwell Heath destroyed a house last night

Archant

Landlords are being urged to protect their tenants and install smoke alarms before new legislation comes into force later this year.

With 41.5 per cent of homes in Newham being privately rented – the highest in the capital – the London Fire Brigade is keen to encourage landlords to take up the offer of free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for their properties.

From October, all landlords in the private rental sector must fit smoke alarms on each floor and install carbon monoxide alarms in rooms containing solid fuel burners, such as cookers and heaters.

Those who do not comply risk a £5,000 fine.

New brigade figures show that of all the home fires in Newham over the past five years, a smoke alarm was working less than half (41pc) of the time.

In addition, those living in private rented homes are less likely to have a smoke alarm than those in other housing sectors.

Borough commander Rhys Powell said: “The private rented sector provides homes for some of Newham’s most vulnerable groups and there is no doubt that these regulations will make privately rented accommodation in our borough safer and save lives.

“We want to help Newham’s private landlords meet their fire safety responsibilities under this new law and would urge them to apply for their free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms well in advance of the new laws coming into force this October.

“Tenants can also play a part in taking responsibility for their own safety by reminding their landlords about the new legislation if there are no smoke or carbon monoxide alarms in their home.”

National statistics show that home fires are more than four times as likely to prove fatal if there is no working smoke alarm in the property.

It is hoped that the new laws will reduce the number of deaths by around 230 and the number of injuries by nearly 6,000 over the next decade.

Carbon monoxide is known as a silent killer and is the cause of around 50 deaths every year, but the installation of an alarm can help detect its presence.

Landlords can apply for alarms for up to 20 properties and applications will be prioritised according to risk.

Visit london-fire.gov.uk/freesmokealarms to apply.


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