Alarms and Smoke Detectors

There are two types of alarms/detectors that can be found in your home: smoke detectors and heat detectors

We’re responsible for installing detectors inside the homes we rent (heat detectors are usually found in your kitchen), but you need to check that they’re working regularly – the Fire Brigade recommends you check them at least once a month (there should be one detector on every level of your home). To do that, simply push the test button to see if it is working. If it’s on the ceiling, try using a broom handle.

If your detector starts beeping this means the battery is low. Please don’t remove the battery until you’re ready to replace it with a new one immediately and never cover the detector to silence the beeping.

Some Typical Fire Detection Layouts Below: Flat and House/maisonette:


House Layout

If you sub-let your property, remember you are responsible for your resident’s safety within the flat and must ensure you are compliant with the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 and further ensure that any tenants with any impairment that may make it difficult or unlikely the alarm would be heard when activated, then arrangements must be made for a type that would notify them of alarm activation.

In line with the terms of your lease for shared owners and leaseholders, you are responsible for carrying out this work.  All smoke & heat alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced should they be found faulty. If you have a faulty detector or are not sure you have the correct number or type, London Fire Brigade provide guides such as:

London Fire Brigade: Home Fire Safety Guide

London Fire Brigade: Fire Safety in the Home

Here are some useful tips for what you should and shouldn’t do with your smoke detector:


  • Clean dust away from the smoke detector with a vacuum cleaner or clean cloth, each time you test it.
  • Replace the battery regularly - your smoke alarm will beep intermittently to warn you when the battery is running low. But don’t wait for that sound and replace the battery once a year.
  • If you think your detector might be faulty, report it to us on 0208 709 4300.
  • If you own your home, you should replace your smoke alarm every 10 years as they get clogged up with dust and dirt over time. If you rent your home from us, we’re responsible for doing this.

Do not:

  • Use cleaning sprays on or around your smoke detector as they could stop it working properly.
  • Remove the battery from your smoke alarm to use in another item, such as a toy or remote control as it’s likely that you’ll forget to replace it, and put yourself and others in danger.

Did you know?

In research presented by BAFE and NAPIT, data collated over the last decade (2010-11 to 2020-21) in England, Wales, and Scotland record an unsettling 424,464 dwelling fires. These fires resulted in almost 82,000 non-fatal casualties and close to 3,000 deaths. In more recent statistics made available by Fire and Rescue Services nationwide, there is an ongoing issue with high failure rates or a complete absence of domestic smoke alarms. By combining IRS and English Housing Survey data, Home Office statisticians have calculated that you are around nine times more likely to die in a fire if you do not have a working smoke alarm in your home

Find out more

Read the full article via this link Lack of domestic smoke alarms in UK causing fatalities (