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Proposed Legislation & Regulation Changes in Northern Ireland

There are proposed changes to Private Tenancy Regulations and Building (Amendment) Regulations – Part E (Fire Safety)

Proposed changes to Private Tenancies Regulations

These proposed regulations align Northern Ireland with fire and carbon monoxide (CO) safety measures already in place in other UK jurisdictions, ensuring consistency and best practice for tenant protection.

The primary goal is to significantly improve tenant safety by equipping properties with advanced fire and CO alarm systems.

Key Proposals

  • More Alarms, Enhanced Protection: The regulations require landlords to ensure a minimum number of smoke, heat and CO alarms to be installed in their properties.
  • Advanced Interconnectivity: Smoke and heat alarms must be interconnected, by wiring or RadioLINK, ensuring a complete warning system throughout the property.
  • Reliable Power Sources: Alarms can be mains powered, battery powered (with a tamper proo
    f battery), or a combination of both, for maximum reliability.
  • Quality and Compliance: All alarms must be manufactured and certified to British Standards (BS), they must also be installed and maintained in accordance with British Standards.

Tenant Responsibilities

  • Access for Maintenance: Provide access for alarm installation, maintenance, and repairs.
  • Regular Testing: Test and maintain the alarms as instructed.
  • Reporting Faults: Report any suspected faults to the landlord immediately.

Landlord Responsibilities

  • Initial Installation: Ensure the correct number and types of alarms are installed upon tenancy change.
  • Ongoing Maintenance: Replace faulty alarms promptly and before expiry.
  • Record Keeping: Maintain a clear record of alarm installations and replacements.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

  • Must be installed in any room or circulation space which contains a fixed combustion appliance.

Smoke Alarms

  • Must be installed in every circulation space on each storey, and the room which is most frequently used by the occupants for general daytime living purposes (e.g. living room/lounge).

Heat Alarms

  • Must be installed in every kitchen

Proposed Minimum Standard Coverage

Proposed changes to Guidance in Technical Booklet E (Fire safety)

Consultation proposals were issued in July 2023 and aim to improve life safety for occupants of various building types, particularly dwellings and blocks of flats.

Key Proposals

  • Smoke and Heat Alarms: Extend requirement to include all habitable rooms in new or materially altered dwellings/flats with no storey exceeding 200m .
  • Habitable Room Definition: Any room in a dwelling other than a kitchen, utility room, bathroom, shower room, dressing room or WC.
  • Extensions/Alterations Guidance: New guidance for installing fire alarms in extensions and alterations.
  • Fire Alarm System Requirement: When new habitable rooms are created above or below the ground storey, or at the ground storey without a final exit, a fire alarm system must be installed

Proposed Minimum Standard Coverage

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