Press release

Government to launch review into carbon monoxide alarms

A government review into rules that require carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted in homes across England has been announced.

Carbon monoxide alarm
  • review will examine existing legislation, checking if it remains fit for purpose
  • ministers to consider reforms once review reports back

A government review into rules that require carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted in homes across England has been announced today (30 April 2018) by Housing Minister Dominic Raab.

Around 8 million carbon monoxide alarms are currently installed in homes across England – a requirement when solid fuel appliances such as wood burning stoves and boilers are installed, as well as in private rental properties that feature a solid fuel appliance.

Launching later this year, the review will examine the regulations closely to establish whether they remain fit for purpose.

This will include whether there should be a blanket requirement to install alarms for all methods of heating, including gas and oil.

The review will also consider whether the cost of alarms is affecting installation rates and will look at new research into the number of carbon monoxide poisonings.

The announcement follows on-going discussions between ministers at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and Eddie Hughes MP, who has called for extending the regulations to cover all social housing tenants and all combustion appliance types.

Housing Minister Dominic Raab said:

Carbon monoxide can be a silent killer and my top priority is to ensure people remain safe and protected in their own homes.

Working with Eddie Hughes, who has a long track record of campaigning on this issue, this review will look into the adequacy of the current laws and ensure they are providing residents with the necessary protection.

Eddie Hughes MP said:

I’m pleased the Housing Minster has responded positively to my campaign and the work done by all those involved in raising awareness of this silent killer.

I look forward to the outcome of the review and will continue to campaign for improved safety to protect others from the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Any future changes would take account of the outcome of the government’s consultation on the operation of private rented alarm regulations and the Dame Judith Hackitt independent review into building regulations and fire safety.

Further details of the review’s terms of reference will be announced by the government in due course later this year.

Further information

The government’s building regulations require the safe installation of combustion appliances in all properties, new and existing, regardless of fuel used or tenure. From 2010, these regulations have also required carbon monoxide alarms when solid fuel burning appliances are installed.

In 2015 the government introduced new regulations requiring private rented sector landlords in England to have a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where solid fuel is used

Whilst there is a downwards overall trend for carbon monoxide poisonings, the government has continued to raise awareness about the risks posed by combustion appliances and the measures available to reduce the risk of poisoning.

Any reform recommended by this review will be subject to ministers’ agreement, further consultation and scrutiny.

Eddie Hughes MP is the Member of Parliament for Walsall North and is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group on Carbon Monoxide.

Mr Hughes previously proposed regulatory changes via his Carbon Monoxide (Detection and Safety) Private Members Bill.

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Published 30 April 2018