Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

Understanding the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

In 2015, the UK government introduced a crucial legislation called the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. This regulation was enacted to enhance safety in residential properties and ensure tenants are protected from smoke and carbon monoxide. In this blog, Dr Richard Dune aims to provide comprehensive insights into these regulations, helping landlords and property managers understand and implement the necessary safety measures.

Key facts and statistics

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 mandate that:

  • Landlords must install at least one smoke alarm on every storey of their rental property where a room is used wholly or partly as living accommodation.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in any room used as living accommodation where solid fuel is used.
  • Landlords must ensure that each prescribed alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins.

According to the English Housing Survey, approximately 28% of homes in England have no working smoke alarms, putting millions at risk. Furthermore, carbon monoxide poisoning results in around 50 deaths and 4,000 emergency department visits annually in the UK, highlighting the critical need for effective regulations.

Key definitions

  • Smoke alarm - A device that detects smoke, typically as an indicator of fire. Smoke alarms are essential for early fire warnings, allowing occupants to evacuate safely.
  • Carbon monoxide alarm - A device that detects the presence of carbon monoxide gas, a colourless, odourless, and poisonous gas produced by the incomplete combustion of carbon-containing fuels.
  • Landlord - An individual or entity that leases a property to tenants. Under these regulations, landlords are responsible for ensuring the installation and maintenance of alarms.

Recommended best practices for implementation

Implementing the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 effectively requires adherence to best practices. Here are the steps landlords should take:

Assess the property

Conduct a thorough assessment of the property to identify all areas that require smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Ensure that each store has a smoke alarm and that any room with a solid fuel-burning appliance has a carbon monoxide alarm.

Install alarms correctly

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing alarms. Smoke alarms should be installed on ceilings, ideally in the middle of a room or hallways. Carbon monoxide alarms should be placed at head height on a wall or shelf near the potential source of carbon monoxide.

Regular maintenance

Test alarms regularly to ensure they are in working order. Replace batteries annually or as recommended by the manufacturer. Landlords should also schedule periodic checks during property inspections to ensure ongoing compliance.

Educate tenants

Inform tenants about the location and purpose of the alarms. Provide instructions on how to test and maintain the alarms. Encourage tenants to report any issues immediately.

Keep records

Maintain detailed records of alarm installations, maintenance activities, and tenant communications. This documentation can serve as evidence of compliance in the event of disputes or inspections.

Introduction to the regulations

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 were introduced to mitigate the risks associated with smoke and carbon monoxide in rental properties. These regulations clearly place landlords' responsibilities to ensure the safety of their tenants.

Importance of compliance

Compliance with these regulations is not only a legal obligation but also a moral one. Ensuring that alarms are installed and functioning can save lives. Failure to comply can result in fines and legal action and put tenants at significant risk.

Steps to ensure compliance

Assessment and installation

Landlords should assess their properties to determine the necessary locations for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Proper installation is crucial to ensure the alarms function effectively.

Ongoing maintenance

Regular testing and maintenance are essential to ensure alarms remain operational. Landlords should establish a routine for checking alarms and addressing any issues promptly.

Tenant education and communication

It is vital to educate tenants about the importance of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and how to maintain them. Clear communication can help tenants understand their role in ensuring their own safety.

The role of ComplyPlus™ in ensuring compliance

At The Mandatory Training Group, we offer ComplyPlus™, a comprehensive legislation and regulatory compliance management software. ComplyPlus™ provides landlords with the tools and resources to comply with the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. From automated reminders for maintenance checks to detailed record-keeping capabilities, ComplyPlus™ simplifies compliance management.


The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 are essential for ensuring the safety of tenants in rental properties. By following best practices for assessment, installation, maintenance, and tenant education, landlords can effectively comply with these regulations and protect their tenants from potential hazards. For comprehensive support in managing compliance, consider using ComplyPlus™ from The Mandatory Training Group.

Click here for more information on how ComplyPlus™ can help you manage your compliance needs. Ensure the safety of your tenants and stay compliant with the latest regulations by leveraging our expertise and innovative solutions.

About the author

Dr Richard Dune

With over 20 years of experience, Richard blends a rich background in NHS, the private sector, academia, and research settings. His forte lies in clinical R&D, advancing healthcare tech, workforce development and governance. His leadership ensures regulatory compliance and innovation align seamlessly.

Understanding the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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