Carbon monoxide and smoke alarms

All landlords need to ensure their properties are fitted with smoke alarms and possibly carbon monoxide alarms.

All landlords are required to:

  • fit at least one smoke alarm on each floor of their premises
  • fit a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms containing a solid fuel appliance
  • check that all alarms are working when a new tenancy start

Smoke alarms

Smoke alarms should be fitted in every room.

Smoke alarms should be fitted as close to the centre of the room, hallway or landing as possible. They should be at least 30 centimetres / 12 inches away from any wall or light fitting.

Test the alarms once fitted and remind your tenants to test them regularly. Special smoke alarm kits are available for those who are head and hard of hearing.

The London Fire Brigade has information about fire safety on its website and also carries out Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSV) in Havering, as part of which we will fit a free smoke alarm where this is needed.

Carbon monoxide (CO)

CO is highly poisonous and is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels. This happens when a gas appliance has been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained. It can also happen if flues, chimneys or bents are blocked.

Fuels that can create CO include:

  • gas
  • coal
  • wood
  • petrol
  • oil
  • liquid petroleum gas

CO alarms can be fitted with screws to a wall. You can also get free-standing alarms. Alarms should be placed next to the potential sources of carbon monoxide. The alarms should be between one and three metres from the source and at least a metre and a half from the ceiling. Avoid putting them next to windows or air vents.

People suffering from CO poisoning should get fresh air immediately, open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances or extinguish other sources, leave the house and see a doctor.

For more information on CO visit the London Fire brigade website.

Further information

Your local fire and rescue service will have further advice and information. You can contact them by:

The following websites have further information on the legislation and free alarms: 

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