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UK Fire and Rescue Services See “Huge Value” in New Home Safety Guidance


22/09/2015


New Home Safety Guidance documents have been warmly welcomed by various UK Fire and Rescue Services as an invaluable tool in outlining the safety checks which should be considered by landlords for their properties. The guidance is available at various landlord and tenant events that are being hosted across the country to raise awareness of the new smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations that come into effect on 1st October.

Between 2013 and 2014, dwellings with no smoke alarm accounted for 38 per cent of deaths in home fires in Great Britain, and nearly one fifth of deaths occurred where no smoke alarm worked [1], said Andy Reynolds, Lead Officer for Electrical Safety for the Chief Fire Officers Association.

The recent legislation is designed to help make tenants safer by requiring that working smoke alarms are in place on each floor of the house and carbon monoxide alarms are installed in all rooms where a solid fuel burning appliance is in place in all private rented accommodation. We see huge value in promoting the Home Safety Guidance documents, so landlords can meet and keep track of their obligations to ensure the safety of their tenants.

The Home Safety Guidance documents have been produced by the Home MOT for Safer Homes Task Group with support from key industry organisations and landlord associations. The guidance is designed to help landlords in the private rented sector ensure all the appropriate checks have been made to meet their duty of care to their tenants and highlight their compliance with important legal obligations. The documents include a Home Safety Certificate, a Visual Electrical Checklist and supportive guidance document and a Fall Prevention Checklist.

Chris Bielby, Chairman of the Electrical Safety Roundtable, said: The use of these documents allows landlords to demonstrate the safety of their properties and allows tenants to make informed decisions about where they live. They have the potential to be a valuable tool for government, insurers and other interested groups to help root out unsafe practice and improve the condition of housing in the private rented sector.

Martin Bruno, The NAPIT Group Chief Operating Officer who also sits on the Board of Directors for the Electrical Safety Roundtable, said We are delighted to have chaired the Home MOT for Safer Homes Task Group, with the widespread support of many influential industry representatives, which led to the creation of these guidance documents. We are pleased that the remit of the Roundtable was expanded beyond electrical to provide a comprehensive resource to improve safety in the home, whilst providing clarity around the electrical safety checks recommended to ensure safe installations. In particular, the recommendation that a registered, competent electrician carries out an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) every five years on privately rented homes supported by an annual visual checklist.

To view the Home Safety Guidance documents, visit www.homesafetyguidance.co.uk/

Reference:

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/456652/Fire_Statistics_Great_Britain_2013-14___PDF_Version_.pdf

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