Continuing with advice for landlords, the following is the latest advice from the Gas Safe register on provision of CO alarms.

Currently in England and Wales, legislation does not require a CO alarm to be fitted in rental properties containing gas appliances. However, Gas Safe Register strongly recommends that audible CO alarms are installed in all domestic properties. The only requirement in England and Wales is contained in the Building Regulations and pertains to solid fuel appliances, such as wood, coal etc. In addition, on 1 Oct 2015 the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force. From that date, private rented sector landlords have been required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every floor of their properties and a CO alarm in any room where solid fuel is used.

After that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy. In Scotland, the Scottish Building Standards have required the installation of a CO alarm whenever a new gas appliance is installed – with the exception of cooking appliances. In 2014, a change was made to the Housing (Scotland) Act and which took effect from the 1st December 2015. This means that private landlords must ensure that a detection system is installed in all dwellings they rent to tenants where there is:

• a fixed combustion appliance (excluding an appliance used solely for cooking) in the dwelling or;

• a fixed combustion appliance in an inter-connected space, for example, an integral garage;

• a combustion appliance necessarily located in a bathroom (advice would be to locate it elsewhere)

The CO alarm should be sited outside the room as close to the appliance as possible but allowing for the effect humid air might have on the detector when the bathroom door is open. This applies to ALL fuels.

Northern Ireland has since 31st October 2012 required CO alarms to be installed when a new gas appliance is fitted. There is no current information regarding further changes. This requirement is from Technical Document L of the Building Regulations in Northern Ireland which has been amended to cover protection against CO and states: “Where a combustion appliance is installed in a dwelling, reasonable provision shall be made to detect and give warning of the presence of CO gas at levels harmful to people.”

Before purchasing a CO alarm, always ensure it complies with British Standard EN 50291 and carries a British or European approval mark, such as a Kitemark. Standards for the performance of CO alarms have become more stringent over recent years and so older alarms may not react as quickly as newer alarms. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations about how you should fit and test your alarm to ensure that the unit and the batteries are in good condition.

If you’re a landlord and would like more information on having CO alarms fitted in your rental properties call us today on 07796 695551 to arrange a time for us to visit the property.