What is a carbon monoxide alarm and why do I need one?

By Matthew Daines

People sat by a fire, protected by their carbon monoxide alarm

Does your a property need a carbon monoxide alarm?

This post was last updated on August 19th, 2021 at 03:56 pm

Almost everyone knows that all properties – rented or not – should have a smoke detector installed. Smoke detectors protect those at home from the dangers of fire – but what about a carbon monoxide alarm?

Do I need a carbon monoxide alarm?

All private landlords must ensure that their rental properties have fitted, working and tested smoke detector on all floors and a carbon monoxide detector where solid fuels are used (although we recommend a CO detector regardless of what fuel type).  

The law around carbon monoxide alarms

This requirement is highlighted in the government How to Let guide. All smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms must be tested on the first day a tenant moves in. You should check and make sure that you are complying with these requirements or you could face up to a £5,000 fine.

In addition to this, landlords must also provide a valid Gas Safety Certificate and EPC. Without these documents in place, a landlord will be in violation of the law and be unable to serve a Section 21 notice. Read about all your required legal landlord documents here.

Want to keep on top of all your legal responsibilities and landlord documents? Download useful our Landlord Checklist below.

Carbon monoxide – the silent killer

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be lethal. As an odourless and colourless gas, its presence will go undetected without a carbon monoxide alarm – so why do only 1 in 10 people know that carbon monoxide alarms exist?

43% of the UK wouldn’t know what to do if there was a carbon monoxide leak in their home – and only 5% can identify the symptoms of poisoning – can you?

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Headaches
  • Stomach pains

Where can I get a carbon monoxide alarm?

Some fire stations throughout the country offer free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, or you can buy them at most DIY shops. The need for smoke alarms is obvious and most people have them installed at home (and most tenants are aware of the need to test them regularly, though you should put in place a system to remind them to do so). Carbon monoxide alarms are designed to detect this ‘silent killer’ and with the increase in the number of solid fuel fires that are installed in buildings, plus the ever-present threat of a malfunctioning boiler, they are vital for saving lives.

Don’t scrimp on gas safety

Every year, rental properties must be inspected by a Gas Safe Engineer. It is also best practice to have your boiler serviced at the same time. A broken boiler can cause a carbon monoxide leak – so don’t wait until it packs in to get it fixed.

Book your annual Gas Safety Inspection for just £79 (inc VAT) and add an additional boiler service for an extra £40 today.

Keep on top of landlord laws

Being a landlord isn’t just about providing a roof over someone’s head and occasionally repairing the boiler. There are many legal requirements that all landlords are bound by, with seemingly more laws being passed each day.  Sometimes, new laws come into force without fanfare or a letter being dropped through your door and can make you unwittingly in breach of your duties.

This law surrounding carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors highlights the need for landlords to be ever vigilant about changes to their responsibilities. Here at LettingaProperty.com, we have a fantastic landlord team who keep on top of all legislative changes and will always make sure you’re in the know.

Chat with a member of our team today on 0333 777 8888, or visit our website to browse our low-cost rent management plans.

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About Matthew Daines

As COO of LettingaProperty.com since 2011, Matthew holds a dual role in management and operations. His strategic, focused and goal orientated experience in achieving results within international, high-profile organisations adds to LettingaProperty.com’s continual success and innovation within the private rental sector.

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