The government is set to review the use of carbon monoxide alarms in rented properties as it looks at making it mandatory for landlords to have them installed.
The move is part of a wider review into the safety of individuals living in rented accommodation and has been welcomed by MPs.
“I am pleased the Government is listening to the Committee’s concerns about the dangers of carbon monoxide. Much more must be done to tackle the threat of the silent killer. Carbon monoxide detectors are inexpensive and save lives,” said Clive Betts, chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, which recommended the move earlier on this year.
He added that the government should make it necessary for all landlords to have audible, wired-up carbon monoxide detector wherever there is an applicable appliance installed.
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service only just issued a carbon monoxide warning to its constituents this week following two serious incidents occurred in one day.
It recommended that all households have carbon monoxide detectors installed and that gas appliances, open fires and wood-burning stoves are regularly serviced and swept.
The most potentially dangerous trait of carbon monoxide is that it cannot be seen, smelt or tasted and therefore detection is very difficult without a detector.
There are at least 50 people in the UK who die each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
“Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels, including gas, oil, wood and coal. When the fuel does not burn properly excess CO is produced. When CO enters the body, it prevents the blood from bringing oxygen to cells, tissues, and organs,” said crew manager Mark Pratten at the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service.
Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a ‘suitable and sufficient’ fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.