Cheshire fire chiefs celebrate safety law success

Fire chiefs are celebrating after the Government approved new safety regulations which are expected to save dozens of lives a year following a major campaign spearheaded by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The regulations - which make it compulsory for all landlords to fit smoke alarms in rented homes - follows a high profile campaign led by a team from Cheshire and supported by the Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA).

“I am delighted that the Government recognised the strength of the case we put forward and the major improvements in public safety this simple step will bring about,” said Mark Cashin, Cheshire’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer and Chair of CFOA’s Home Safety Committee.

“While death 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.

“This change will improve the safety of families and stop dozens of people from losing their lives to fire each year. The cost to landlords is small, with a ten year sealed alarm costing around £15.”

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (England) Regulations 2015 were approved by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords on Monday September 14 and will come into effect on October 1st. The new law requires private landlords to have a working smoke alarm on each floor of their property and a carbon monoxide detector in properties which burn solid fuel.

The Government’s approval came on the same day that Cheshire’s Chief Fire Officer was formally elected as the new president of CFOA.

“It’s a great honour to be elected to this key position in the fire and rescue sector and to do so on the same day as a Cheshire-led campaign secured such a major improvement in fire safety makes it doubly rewarding,” said Mr. Hancock.

Cheshire Fire Authority Chair Cllr. John Joyce added: “Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has always been at the forefront of improving community safety so it is fitting that we played a leading role in bringing in this vital new legislation.”

Under the new laws smoke alarms must be fitted on every floor of the property as well as carbon monoxide alarms in properties which burn solid fuels. Landlords must check the alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy with potential penalties of up to £5,000 if they don’t comply.

To help landlords gear up for the new regulations the Government has provided fire and rescue services with free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to give out to relevant landlords. Visit the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service website for more information

Date published: Thu, 17 Sep 2015 10:49:08 GMT

Last updated: Thursday 17 September 2015

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