Smoke alarms must be present from the occupation date, that is the date the contract-holder moves in. Where the contract-holder is already living in the property when the Act comes into force on 1 December 2022, the landlord must provide smoke alarms no later than 1 December 2023.

The FFHH Regulations require a smoke alarm, in proper working order, to be present on every storey of a dwelling. Landlords must ensure each of these smoke alarms is in proper working order, connected to the electrical supply and inter-linked with all other smoke alarms connected to the electrical supply. To ensure that this requirement is met, the opportunity to test smoke alarms should be sought whenever possible, for instance whilst carrying out a necessary inspection, repair or electrical testing in the dwelling. 

Depending on the size of the dwelling landlords may want to fit more than one smoke alarm on each storey, or to fit additional heat alarms in the kitchen.   

Smoke alarms should be sited where they can be heard by the occupier when asleep, usually a hall and landing area. 

The presence of smoke alarms is intended to reduce the risk of fire and associated smoke and any consequent injury or loss of life. Without a smoke alarm fitted an occupier is at least four times more likely to die. 

Once the minimum requirements of the regulations have been met, a landlord may choose to install additional smoke alarms which are battery powered. The FFHH regulations do not require these additional battery powered alarms to be inter-linked. 

If a CO alarm is required, it must be present from the occupation date or from 1 December 2022.

Carbon monoxide is a gas, produced when carbon-based fuel is burnt without enough oxygen. You cannot see, smell or taste it but it can injure and kill quickly. Due to this fact it is often referred to as a ‘silent killer’ and most fatalities due to CO exposure are due to a lack of warning to its presence. 

Not only is it responsible for a number of deaths and poisonings each year; people can be to be affected by carbon monoxide without realising it. 

Combustion appliances such as boilers, gas and open fires, heaters and stoves fuelled by solid fuel, oil or gas all have the potential to cause CO poisoning if they are poorly installed, poorly maintained or incorrectly used. Particularly where there is inadequate (or lack of) proper ventilation, flues and chimneys. 

The FFHH Regulations require a landlord to ensure that a carbon monoxide alarm is present in any room which has a gas, oil or solid fuel burning appliance installed.  

The placement of carbon monoxide alarms should be considered carefully. Smoke alarms, because heat and smoke rise, are normally placed on the ceiling. This is not necessarily the best place to install carbon monoxide detectors, as the concentration of carbon monoxide could reach dangerous levels before reaching ceiling height. Due to this, carbon monoxide alarms are usually installed lower than smoke alarms. 

The manufacturer’s guidance accompanying carbon monoxide alarms should always be followed carefully, including noting the expiry date of the alarm. Carbon monoxide sensors are usually more fragile than those within smoke alarms and may need to be replaced more regularly. 

These are all linked to the (partial) combustion of gas, oil, solid fuels for heating and cooking in dwellings. 

Carbon Monoxide 

  • Inability of blood to take up oxygen; 

  • Headaches, dizziness, nausea etc.; 

  • Some symptoms may be confused with ‘flu’ or depression; 

  • Increased chest pain in people with ischaemic heart disease. 

  • May impair foetal growth; and 

  • High concentrations can cause unconsciousness and death. 

Nitrogen dioxide 

  • respiratory damage 

  • aggravated asthma 

  • increased risks of bacterial and viral infection of the lung 

Sulphur dioxide 

  • bronchitis and breathlessness as a result of open fires 

  • aggravated asthma 

  • Potential causes 

  • Open flued appliances can discharge combustion gases back into rooms which contain too powerful extractor fans; 

  • Flueless appliances including cookers; 

  • Appliances in disrepair; 

  • Inadequate ventilation; 

  • Ventilation in disrepair; 

  • Flues not properly serviced/cleaned/maintained; 

  • Flues in disrepair; 

  • Inappropriate flue outlet sites; 

  • Extractor fans in dwellings with open flued appliances; and 

  • Lack of/defects in carbon monoxide detectors. 

  • proper installation and maintenance of gas/oil/solid fuel burning appliances 

  • adequate air supply for such appliances 

  • proper siting and connection with adequately sized flues 

  • adequate ventilation in rooms with such appliances, including extraction where required 

  • regular maintenance of flues, extractor fans and ventilation 

  • gas heating appliances to be fitted with flues for correctly balanced flow of air inside and out 

  • ventilated lobby between integral garage and living accommodation 

  • properly sited and maintained carbon monoxide detectors. 

  • regular maintenance of carbon monoxide alarms 

What else should I do? 

Most of the potential risks of carbon monoxide poisoning are the result of improperly maintained gas flues. Landlords should ensure that they keep up to date with gas safety certificates and renew them each year, always having a valid one on the property. It is imperative that this is done.