Smoke Alarms - a small change to save lives

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is campaigning to make it a legal requirement for all landlords to fit smoke alarms in their properties.

You are four times more likely to die as a result of a house fire if you do not have a working smoke alarm. Rented properties are more likely not to have a working smoke alarm and local data shows us that those living in rented homes are at a higher risk.

Legislation to ensure landlords fit smoke alarms

Fire deaths are relatively low, but we think that landlords have a moral duty to ensure the safety of their tenants. The best landlords do this already and many are working with us to press for change. While there is a cost to installing smoke alarms a ten year smoke alarm, similar to those installed by fire and rescue services, costs less than £2 per year.

Last year, the Department for Communities and Local Government undertook a consultation on requiring smoke alarms to be installed in private rented homes, which saw many individuals and organisations to respond in favour of introducing this requirement. Subsequently, we understand that having received a positive impact assessment and green-light approval from the Government’s Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC), draft regulations have been produced and only need to be laid before Parliament.

The Government’s own assessment of the regulations suggests that 231 lives over ten years could be saved through this simple and cheap move - a ten-year battery operated alarms retails on the high street for around £15.99. We however, believe this to be a conservative estimate.

Please help us to make this change by writing to your Member of Parliament pledging your support for requiring private landlords to install smoke alarms in their properties and urging the Government to enact this important regulation; a small change that will save lives.

Smoke alarm - campaign poster

Poster - a small change to save lives (new window, PDF 2279KB)

Facts about smoke alarms

Did you know?

  • You are four times more likely to die in a fire where there is no working smoke alarm

  • 12% of properties have no smoke alarm, but 38% of fire deaths are in homes with no working smoke alarm

  • There were 658 fire fatalities in Great Britain with no smoke alarm between 2006/7 and 2011/12

  • The cost to the economy of fire fatalities between 2006/7 and 2011/12 was £2.67billion

  • A ten year battery powered smoke alarm costs between £1.59-£1.99 per year

Last updated: Wednesday 18 February 2015