One in three London renters do not have a life-saving carbon monoxide alarm in their home

Monday, October 16th, 2017 - Carbon Monoxide - Be Alarmed! campaign

New research for the ‘Carbon Monoxide Be Alarmed!’ campaign has revealed that a third of renters in London do not have a life-saving CO alarm in their property.

Under current regulations introduced in 2015, landlords in England are only required to provide a CO alarm in properties with a solid fuel appliance, i.e. coal or wood burning stoves.

However, in Scotland landlords are legally required to provide CO alarms in all properties.

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, charcoal, coal and wood do not burn completely. The most common cause of this is when an appliance, such as a boiler or cooker, is installed incorrectly or poorly maintained. Carbon monoxide can also build up when flues, chimneys or vents are blocked

The Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! campaign – run by Energy UK – is calling on Government to take action to extend the legislation to ensure all private tenants are protected.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK and CO Be Alarmed! spokesperson, said:

Our research shows private renters are still at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning with one in three not having a carbon monoxide alarm fitted at home. That is why we are calling on government to extend the legislation to protect all private renters including those with a gas appliance which is over 80 percent of homes.

In the meantime we urge tenants to use our simple ABC checklist – Do you have an Alarm fitted? Have you tested it and are the Batteries working? Have you had an up to date gas Check?. This the only way to protect yourself and your family.

Barry Sheerman MP said:

As chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Carbon Monoxide, this is an issue I have championed throughout my parliamentary career and is something I feel very strongly about. With no smell or visible presence, the only way to detect the dangerous gas is through the installation of an audible alarm.

Awareness of this easily forgotten step is vital in saving lives. We’ve made good progress, but we must continue to work to bring the number of these entirely preventable deaths down to zero. I value the vital work that the ‘Carbon Monoxide Be Alarmed!’ campaign is doing to achieve this goal and support the call for legislation to ensure all private tenants are protected.

Chris Norris, Head of Policy of the National Landlords Association, said:

Private landlords have a legal responsibility to provide a CO alarm if solid fuel burning appliances are installed, but landlords, tenants, and home-owners need to be aware that the risk of CO poisoning extents to all types of combustion – including natural gas. Although the risk is small, CO detectors are not expensive and require very little maintenance, which is why the NLA recommends landlords install an alarm in every property with solid fuel, oil, or gas installations. It is best practice and may save a life“.

For more information about how to stay safe, visit

In March 2017, London Property Licensing published a guest blog about the dangers of CO poisoning based on a real life case study, which you can read here.

We have also published a free guide to the Smoke and CO Alarm Regulations that you can read here.

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