Regulations must be applied

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REGARDING smoke alarms in rental homes and your recent lead article which quoted the coroner Alan Craze about the law on fitting fire alarms in rental property, I would like to refer your readers to the Housing Act 2004 which gave powers to local authorities to look at rental properties using a risk assessment approach called the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.

The elements of this approach include fire safety and the fitting of fire alarms.

There are 29 elements of the HHSRS with the purpose of tackling the poor housing conditions that may occur.

Landlords are required to review conditions regularly to see where and how their properties can be improved and made safe.

I agree completely with Mark Hobbs about the fitting of fire detection and alarm systems.

The fitting of smoke alarms has proved over the past few years to have contributed significantly to the reduction of fire deaths and injuries in domestic dwellings but still more than 400 people a year die in fires in their homes.

I would suggest that we don’t need more regulation.

What is needed is that the existing regulations are applied and the reduction of fire deaths and injuries is achieved by the application of a set of regulations which have been in force since 2005.

The Government has issued statutory enforcement guidance to local authorities on the actions they can take and the factors they should consider to decide which action is most appropriate.

I am a lecturer in fire safety and fire prevention and have been for the last 17 years.

So I have seen the trend in fire deaths and injuries fall but we need to do more!

JOHN REVINGTON

Managing Director

PMS Safety Ltd, Eastbourne