Smoke alarm required entrance stairwell of coach house?

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    Smoke alarm required entrance stairwell of coach house?

    I have just had a property inspection by DASH - local midlands housing accreditation scheme (it gets me a reduced fee on selective licensing).

    The property is a 1-bed coach house - accommodation above 3 garages. They have said I need a smoke alarm inside the front door at ground level as well the smoke alarm in the accommodation & a heat alarm in the kitchen.

    I know every storey needs a smoke alarm but I thought that as there are no habitable rooms on the ground floor & this is just the entrance hall it did not required one. (The smoke alarm is at the top of the stairs).

    Who is right? Interested in other LLs perspective.

    #2
    Ignoring the legalities, if I were renting out a property above garages (ie with petrol or diesel) and had the option of an additional sensor at the front door at ground floor level I'd put one, probably interlinked with whatever heat/smoke etc sensors are in the flat. Would have put it in when I bought. And checked regularly.

    Why?
    a) In my own interests to reduce (a bit ) the risk from fire...
    b) In the interests of the tenants from the risk of fire..
    c) To have something to wave at the court should the worst happen and someone is maimed or killed in a fire.

    Not, IMHO, worth taking the various risks..
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for spending my money Artfullodger! I hear what you are saying but:
      a) if a fire starts inside the door the stairs are of no use as an escape route &
      b) the smoke alarm is at the top of the stairs so we are talking seconds possibly between them going off &
      c) as the other alarms are 5 years old and no longer made I would have to put in 3 new ones.

      That's why I am invested in other people's interpretation of the regulations.

      Comment


        #4
        Just spend the money. Sounds like you are going to have too, and it’s not that much

        Comment


          #5
          I think jpucng62 means by "as the other alarms are 5 years old and no longer made I would have to put in 3 new ones" - that these are hard wired, and adding one means replacing many others which have not reached the end of their life.

          Why not just put in one standalone one at £10 or are they demanding that you throw away a whole lot of plastic and electronics and destroy the planet?

          Comment


            #6
            You are spot on and at present that is exactly what they are asking for.

            Interestingly, further investigations shows that the 2015 Smoke alarms regulations do not apply to housing that is under a Licensing Scheme and Nottingham's SL Scheme states that alarms are only required if a story has 'habitable accommodation' so I believe DASH is overstepping its authority.

            I would happily just add a battery operated one if that would satisfy them but changing the wired in ones & rewiring for a new unnecessary one is just an expense I could do without. I am trying to keep rent increases down to help my tenants but if I have spurious extra costs thrown at me this will become harder.

            Comment


              #7
              It is a bit of a stretch to think that Local Authority busybodies try to adhere to the law or even their own law. They usually make things up.

              Explain to them that you would have to increase rents by £20, and cause environmental damage by discarding usable equipment, so you need to be really sure that their advice is firmly founded on legislation. Would they kindly advise as you are concerned about these things. cc to the tenants.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                IExplain to them that you would have to increase rents by £20, and cause environmental damage by discarding usable equipment.
                I cannot for the life of me think that some council bod gives a monkeys about the increase in rent for someone they do not know nor do i think they will care about some smoke detectors being put in the black bin.

                But i woud ask them to quote to you the exact legislation that they say menas you need what they are saying, down to the section and the line........ if they are saying you need it then they must have read it somewhere..... where ?

                Comment


                  #9
                  They are quoting the Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Regulations 2015 - which I have explained the property is exempt from - but as ever it lies in the interpretation of the law. Does an entrance, with no habitable space, constitute a 'storey'?

                  Comment

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