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// Hints & Tips

Fire safety in your home – 9 steps to consider ahead of new smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations

As regulations for landlords come into force around smoke and carbon monoxide alarms later this year, we’re providing some top fire safety tips for protecting yourself and your home. This advice may help alert you to any early warning signs of a fire or carbon monoxide leak in your home.

  1. It’s advised that, for those living in a property on multiple levels, you make sure there’s a smoke alarm on every level of your home. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are available from DIY stores, electrical shops, and at most high street supermarkets.
  2. Test your own flat/apartment smoke alarms at least monthly. If you live in a FirstPort Retirement property, please check with your Development Manager to find out if regular smoke alarm testing is required at your development.
  3. If any of your home smoke alarms have a one-year battery, make sure it is changed each year. Only take the battery out when you need to replace it. While it can be more expensive, ten-year sealed battery smoke alarms are recommended and can save on the cost of replacing batteries over time. Or you could opt for a mains-powered alarm.
  4. Mains-powered alarms are powered by your home power supply and have a back-up battery in case of a power cut. They need to be installed by a qualified electrician and, like battery alarms, they do require testing.
  5. Look out for a British Standards symbol or European (CE) mark on your safety device. This means it’s compliant with European and British safety standards.
  6. You are advised to install carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as part of living accommodation which contains a fuel-burning appliance (this excludes gas cookers).
  7. Never disconnect or remove the batteries out of your alarm if it goes off by mistake.
  8. It’s important that you have a specialist alarm system in place in your home if you have a disability that may prevent or delay you escaping in the event of a fire.
  9. The fire service recommends installing a heat alarm in your kitchen, rather than a smoke alarm. This means the alarm will be set off by the heat from a fire, as opposed to cooking fumes.

It’s also important that landlords, from October 1st, have measures in place to fall in line with changing regulation. Landlords must:

  • Install at least one smoke alarm on each storey of the property where there is a room used as living accommodation. (This has been a legal requirement in the private rented sector since 2015).
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers).
  • Ensure all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once informed and found that they are faulty.
  • The regulations require you to ensure alarms are equipped, and to check that each prescribed alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins if it is a new tenancy.

Your local fire and rescue authority may be able to provide further advice on installation or you can download fire safety information from