Landlords!  Are you aware of the new regulations?

Since 1st October 2022 it has been a legal requirement for landlords to have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in any living room that contains a fixed combustion appliance. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 also require that landlords replace or repair any faulty carbon monoxide alarms as soon as they are informed that they are faulty. Failing to comply with these regulations can land landlords with a fine of up to £5,000.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can make people seriously ill and in some cases it can even be fatal. It is important that everyone is aware of the warning signs and symptoms of a carbon monoxide leak.

Carbon monoxide is formed during the burning of fossil fuels when combustion reactions are not completed and so the fuel fails to burn correctly. This can happen due to a lack of oxygen.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and flavourless gas. You cannot see it, smell it or taste it. Therefore, carbon monoxide alarms are essential in order to ensure that you are alerted to its presence in the air as early as possible.

Carbon monoxide gas is not poisonous. It prevents the uptake of oxygen in your body by attaching itself to your red blood cells. If you are exposed for long enough it can be fatal as it interferes with the delivery of oxygen in your entire body which leads to you falling into a coma before you die. 

Symptoms are often mistaken for the flu, they include:

  • headaches
  • chest pain
  • diarrhoea
  • vomiting
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision 
  • chest pains

Not everyone will experience all of these. It is possible for people who are asleep or drunk to die from carbon monoxide poisoning without experiencing any symptoms.

Infants, the elderly, people with heart conditions and anyone with breathing problems are more at risk. According to the NHS sixty people die from carbon monoxide exposure every year.

Warning signs of a carbon monoxide leak are:

  • Faulty pilot lights on gas appliances that burn orange or yellow (they should be blue)
  • Pilot lights that appear floppy or regularly go out. 
  • Yellow-brown or sooty stains around an appliance
  • Excessive condensation in a room where there is a fossil fuel burning appliance.
  • Seeing or smelling smoke (while carbon monoxide is odourless and colourless smoke may sometimes accompany a leak and is certainly always worth being investigated)
  • Excessive soot.

In order to ensure that their tenants and their property are safe landlords should make sure that they :

  • Install the legally required carbon monoxide detectors and ensure that they are up-to-date with the relevant regulations 
  • Have all gas appliances regularly serviced by a qualified gas safe engineer. You can search for an approved Gas Safe registered engineer here.
  • Make sure that chimneys are regularly swept and flues are regularly cleaned and checked for blockages as good ventilation is essential. 
  • Avoid using tradespeople who cut corners when having working fireplaces swept or serviced or when having boilers and flues installed or serviced.
  • Check carbon monoxide alarms during every inspection and encourage their tenants to check them regularly and report that they are working.

If you would like to find out how we can help you to manage your property in Preston, Leyland, Chorley or the surrounding areas and help you to keep your tenants and your property safe then please do give us a call on 01772 284606.