New government regulations that will keep tenants in St Helens safer have come into force, council chiefs say.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service is urging landlords in St Helens to act now to ensure they are complying with the new safety laws which aim to save dozens of lives.
The new legislation means it is now compulsory for private landlords to fit smoke alarms on every floor of the property as well as carbon monoxide alarms in properties which burn solid fuels.
Landlords must check the alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy with potential penalties of up to £5,000 if they don’t comply.
Deputy chief fire officer Phil Garrigan, from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Often those in private rented property are amongst the most vulnerable members of society; elderly residents, lone tenants, those with disability or who have difficulty with mobility or with dependency issues.
“A working smoke alarm is a vital piece of life-saving equipment and we regularly see the impact that correctly fitted alarms have when alerting people to a fire, giving them the vital seconds they need to escape.”
The regulations were approved by the House of Commons and House of Lords on September 14 and came into force on October 1.
To help landlords gear up for the new regulations, the Government has provided Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service with a limited number of free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to give out to relevant landlords.
Mr Garrigan said: “We would urge those landlords, who need to take action to comply with the new regulations,to take advantage of the free alarms we are able to provide.”
Landlords can register their interest for the stock of free alarms in Merseyside by contacting Fire Service Direct at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 731 5958 or by emailing FireServiceDirect2@merseyfire.gov.uk.