Landlords in 1066 country will need to ensure their properties are fitted with smoke alarms on every level after new laws come into force on Thursday (October 1).
The new laws also extends to fitting carbon monoxide alarms in properties buring solid fuels.
Landlords must also check the alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy with penalties of up to £5,000 if they do not comply.
Previously East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service would have been responsible for keeping tenants safe but the onus is now on the landlords.
Fire service community safety manager Steve Wright said: “We are urging landlords to install smoke alarms, one per floor, in each of their properties to ensure the safety of their tenants.
“East Sussex Fire and Rescue is keen to support landlords with the changes and to achieve this we have held a series of seminars to provide landlords with advice on the changes to the law and fire safety advice.
“We also had a quantity of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, which were handed to those landlords with the most vulnerable tenants, to ensure their safety.”
The fire service has been promoting the forthcoming law with its “Don’t Gamble with Your Tenants’ Lives” campaign throughout the summer months.
A series of seminars were held across the county to update landlords on the change.
The aim was to hopefully save dozens of lives a year and to ensure that they were fully aware of their new responsibilities.
“While deaths and injuries from fires have reduced considerably in recent years, the majority of victims continue to be those who are most vulnerable, often living in private rented accommodation,” Mr Wright said.
“While overall smoke alarm ownership in the country stands at around 90 per cent, those living in private rented homes are far less likely to have a working smoke alarm.
“Statistically, people are four times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there is no working smoke alarm and over the next ten years it is estimated that the new laws will result in 231 fewer deaths and 5,860 injuries.
“We are keen to make sure that all Landlords understand the importance and the legal implications of the proposed changes.”
For more information visit: www.electricalsafetyroundtable.co.uk/downloads/visual-electrical-checklist.pdf.
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