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Carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted in all properties to let

Almost a third of properties to let in the UK do not have a life-saving carbon monoxide alarm in their property, with four in five unaware that it is their responsibility – and not their landlord’s or agent’s – to provide one.

The ‘Carbon Monoxide Be Alarmed!’ campaign says properties to let are still at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning nearly two years after legislation aimed at protecting private tenants came into effect.

Under current regulations, landlords or their agents in England are only required to provide a CO alarm in properties to let with a solid fuel appliance – that is, coal or wood burning stoves. However, in Scotland landlords are legally required to provide CO alarms in all properties.

The campaign – run by Energy UK – is now calling on government to take action to extend the legislation to ensure all private tenants throughout the nation are protected.

“Private landlords have a legal responsibility to provide a CO alarm if solid fuel burning appliances are installed, but landlords, tenants, and home-owners need to be aware that the risk of CO poisoning extents to all types of combustion – including natural gas. Although the risk is small, CO detectors are not expensive and require very little maintenance, which is why the NLA recommends landlords install an alarm in every property with solid fuel, oil, or gas installations. It is best practice and may save a life” suggests Chris Norris, head of policy of the National Landlords Association.

“The government [should] extend the legislation to protect all private renters including those with a gas appliance which is over 80 percent of homes” says Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK and CO Be Alarmed! spokesperson.

Labour MP Barry Sheerman comments: “As chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Carbon Monoxide, this is an issue I have championed throughout my parliamentary career and is something I feel very strongly about. With no smell or visible presence, the only way to detect the dangerous gas is through the installation of an audible alarm.”

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