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Smoke alarms: What you need to know about the new regulations

By Steve Brennan
  • There must be a minimum of one working smoke alarm within 3 metres of each bedroom door, and in a self-contained caravan, sleep out or similar there must be a minimum of one working smoke alarm.
  • The landlord is responsible for making sure smoke alarms are in working order at the beginning of every new tenancy.
  • The tenant is responsible for replacing batteries (if required) during their tenancy.

Tenants should be aware that:

  • They should regularly check their smoke alarms to ensure they are working properly and report faults to the landlord to ensure their immunity from liability for a negligent (careless) fire, as they may face potentially significant liability in the event of a fire they or a guest causes, if they tamper with, remove or cause a smoke alarm to be inoperative.
  • A landlord may be able to pursue a tenant for damages of a negligently caused fire, if an insurer will not pay because the tenant or a guest has done something that interferes with the landlord’s insurance coverage, such as causing a smoke alarm to not work because the battery has been removed.
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