Consumer Advice

New fire and carbon monoxide safety scheme for landlords launched

Wed.04.Sep.2013 BST

New research, carried out among 1,500 landlords and 1,600 renters across the UK, has found that one in five (21%) landlords never worry about making sure their tenants are safe, yet nearly one in 10 (8%) renters – the equivalent of around 17.3 million renters in England – claim they’ve had a gas leak or fire incident in their home.

To help reduce the number of incidents in rental homes across the UK and to make it easier for landlords to comply with their legal responsibilities , a new scheme called ‘Blue Watch’ has been launched by the Chief Fire Officers Association. The scheme, supported by UK fire and rescue services, will provide advice, support and products. Blue Watch will first launch in West Yorkshire, Humberside, Merseyside and Hampshire and will allow landlords to have their properties checked by their local fire service or trusted partner and validated to confirm that it’s a safer place for tenants to live. Requirements include fitting carbon monoxide alarms, smoke alarms, emergency lighting and other safety equipment.

Blue Watch has been set up to help tenants stay safe and to relieve the burden on landlords. If you want to make your rental property safer, visit the website and carry out a self-declaration of your property. You can then book a visit from your local fire and rescue service or trusted partner, who will validate the property and confirm it’s safer. Once validated, the property is then endorsed by the Blue Watch logo – the sign of a safer property. Renters in your area will be able to choose properties that are validated by the Blue Watch scheme. Self-declarations cost £25 and the validation service costs £65 – both last for 12 months.

Following a simple, on line self-declaration, landlords and letting agents can visit the Blue Watch website and carry out a self-declaration of their property. They can then request a visit from their local fire and rescue service, or trusted partner, who will visit the property to validate it and offer valuable advice on improving its safety. Once validated, the property is then endorsed by the Blue Watch symbol – the sign of a safer property. Not only will this offer peace of mind to landlords, it will also attract a better quality of tenant. To find out more please watch the following video.

For more information visit www.bluewatch.co.uk

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