UK regulations stipulate that there is at least one smoke alarm on every floor of the property. This rule applies to floors where a room is used wholly or partly as living accommodation. When a new tenant moves into a property the landlord or agent must make sure that each alarm is functioning. Tenants are responsible for checking they are still working following this and if a detector stops working, the landlord must provide a replacement.
Government guidance for Landlords can be found here.
When chosing a smoke alarm, a ten-year sealed battery model is adviseable. Although they are slightly more expensive, there is a saving from not having to replace batteries. These symbols show that the alarm is approved and safe:
If there is one alarm per floor, it is adviseable that the downstairs hallway has an optical smoke alarm, and that the other floors have ionisation smoke alarms. It’s very important to make sure that the alarm can be heard from all bedrooms. It’s best to place alarms at least 30cms from walls, as well as lights or other ceiling fittings.
Electrical fire safety
Electricity is a major cause of accidental fires in the home, however there are steps you can take to protect your property:
- Keep an eye out for damaged wiring
- Be aware of sockets that do not work, have burn marks on them or feel hot
- Do not use any loose plugs or torn cables on electrical appliances
Gas fire safety
Damaged or unmaintained gas appliances or pipework in your home can cause gas leaks, fire risks and carbon monoxide poisoning. See our pages on annual gas safety checks and carbon monoxide for more information on the risks and how to prevent them.
Fire safety tips
- Limit the number of appliances plugged into the same electrical outlet.
- Keep anything combustible away from heaters, stoves and fireplaces.
- Never smoke in bed or on soft furniture.
- Do not use damaged or frayed electrical cords or extension cords.
- Do not use extension cords with heating or air conditioning equipment.
- Purchase smoke alarms and fire extinguishers for each floor of your home.
- Have an Emergency Escape Plan and practice it frequently.
- Close your downstairs doors at night before going to bed.