CO Advice, Fire Safety
The landlord must test the alarms at the beginning of every tenancy, but hereafter it is normally the tenant’s responsibility to ensure that continue to remain in working order and, if need be, change the batteries. It is also advisable that alarms are cleaned once every 3 months with a hoover fitted with a soft headed brush. In the event of a nuisance alarm/ false alarm it is important tenants do not tamper with it, e.g. by removing the battery or by removing the alarm itself. This could endanger your life, as well as the other tenants present. Therefore, in the event of a false alarm, it is important you contact your landlord. For more information, see our How To Improve Tenant Safety By Reducing Nuisance Alarms blog post.
For a brief overview of where alarms should be installed in your home, replacing batteries, testing and cleaning, low battery chirps and what to do in the event of fire, you can see FireAngel’s quick user guides here:
It is also vital you know your fire alarm expiry date. Please see our 10 year – check the date page for more information.
Do you know what to do when an alarm sounds?
Unless it is absolutely clear that it is a false alarm, every fire alarm or carbon monoxide (or gas alarm, if present) sounding should be taken as a serious event.
As a tenant, you should work closely with the landlord to ensure you know about the fire safety system in your rented accommodation, and know what to do and where to go when an alarm sounds. For instance, if your landlord has installed an interlinking system, all the alarms, smoke, heat and carbon monoxide if installed, will sound simultaneously if one detects a problem. They will also mimic the sound pattern of the originating alarm, so it is important to know what each one sounds like, and what action you should take.
Smoke alarm/ heat alarm
Alert all the tenants, evacuate using pre-planned escape route, and call the Fire and Rescue Service (and landlord) once you are safely outside. Please see our what to do in the event of fire blog post for more information.
Carbon monoxide alarm
Carbon monoxide is toxic gas that can be produced in the home when an appliance fails to burn fuel completely. So, in the event of a CO alarm tenants should open all windows and doors, evacuate, then contact your local registered gas engineer (and landlord). For more information about the dangers of carbon monoxide.
Low battery chirp
You should immediately contact your landlord/maintenance team if any of your safety devices are emitting a low battery chirp. This means your alarm is reaching end of life and needs replacing soon. For maximum safety, you should advise your landlord/maintenance team as soon as possible so a replacement alarm can be fitted.