Councillor Mark Healey, Chair of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority, has joined the Fire Kills campaign as a champion for fire safety in rented homes, encouraging landlords to make their properties as safe as possible for their tenants.
Fire Minister, Bob Neill, announced Cllr Healey’s new role as champion for fire safety in the rented sector in a short video-announcement at the Housing Sector National Forum today.
Since its beginnings in 1988, the Fire Kills campaign has seen the number of yearly fire related deaths and casualties reduce dramatically, and ownership of smoke alarms has increased from just nine percent in 1987 to 86 percent last year.
But despite this rise in ownership, evidence suggests that those renting properties without an alarm are often among those most vulnerable to the risk of fire such as older people or single parent families.
As an advocate for the Fire Kills campaign, Cllr Mark Healey will remind private landlords that it is good practice to install and maintain smoke alarms in the properties they are renting out. He will also encourage them to help protect their tenants and their property from the devastating effects of fire by fitting long-life smoke alarms like 10-year battery devices or hard-wired systems in every home they rent out.
Bob Neill said:
A working smoke alarm can provide the vital seconds needed to escape a house fire, so installing and maintaining an alarm is one of the most important things a landlord can do to protect their tenants and their property from the devastating effects of fire.
I am delighted that Cllr Mark Healey has agreed to join the Fire Kills campaign as an advocate for private landlords.
A landlord himself, Mark will, I believe, be a strong and compelling voice on behalf of the campaign, encouraging landlords to install and maintain smoke alarms in their properties.
Cllr Mark Healey said:
As Chair of the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority, I am determined to do all I can to reduce the numbers of accidental fire deaths and injuries.
Most fire deaths are preventable, and can be avoided if householders alter their behaviour and think more about fire safety as an important issue that could affect them and their families.
As a landlord myself, I know how important it is to install working smoke alarms in the properties I am responsible for. I am therefore pleased to have been asked to help support the Government’s Fire Kills campaign and urge all landlords to consider installing either 10-year battery alarms or hard-wired detectors in their properties.
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