The importance of fire alarms

News at Townends | 22/07/2016

On 1st October 2015, new legislation relating to smoke and carbon monoxide alarms was put in place to protect the lives of tenants, as well as the properties they live in. It’s now a legal requirement for all rental properties to be fitted with at least one smoke alarm on each floor of a property, as well as carbon monoxide detectors in any rooms which have fuel appliances, such as cookers in the kitchen.


Landlords have a responsibility to ensure that all alarms are working at the beginning of every new tenancy and tenants must also periodically check them during their tenancy, flagging any issues with their landlord. Landlords failing to meet the new regulations could face a civil penalty of up to £5,000 for breach of duty.

Tips for fitting smoke alarms

Here are our top tips for fitting and testing your fire alarms:

  • Choose a smoke alarm that complies with the British Standards and has the recognisable Kitemark to show authenticity
  • Ensure the alarm is positioned where it can be easily heard, even if the door was closed
  • If the property has more than one level, fit an alarm at the bottom of the staircase and on every landing. If there is only one level, fit the alarm between the living area and bedrooms
  • The fire alarm should be easy to reach so that your tenants can check it weekly and change the battery as needed
Fire alarms may seem like another expense when it comes to renting out your property but as a landlord, you have a duty of care to ensure the safety of your tenants. With over 40% of fire related deaths occurring in properties without working smoke alarms, they are proven lifesavers. By installing one you are not only making sure that you comply with the law but that you are also taking care of the tenants who live in your property.

Our Home Safety Kits, which go beyond basic requirements to include smoke alarms, a carbon monoxide alarm, a fire blanket and fire extinguisher, give landlords the reassurance they are fully compliant with the law, avoiding a heavy penalty and offering tenants peace of mind. Speak to your property manager to find out more.

If you are thinking of letting your property, request your free no obligation rental valuation today.