Landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties under new legislation announced by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Roger Webb, director of the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council, (HHIC) has described the announcement as ‘a good first step’.

“We have been calling for the mandatory installation of CO alarms in all new UK buildings, so making it law in rented properties is a start,” he said. “But, it doesn’t go far enough. One fatality or one injury is one too many.

“Together with mandatory CO alarms we would like to see the government fund research into the health impacts of non-fatal levels of CO exposure. We know all about the dangers of passive smoking but our understanding of low levels of CO exposure are minimal and this should really change.”

It is expected that this new law will take effect from October 2015 and will help prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year. Landlords will receive help to meet their new responsibilities with the provision of free grant funded alarms provided by the 46 fire and rescue authorities in England.