Nearly 50% of people renting a private property in the UK have not had a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm installed by their landlord, research by campaign group Project SHOUT has found.
A further 10% of tenants weren’t sure if they had a CO alarm, meaning that nearly 60% of the UK’s nine million private tenants (5.4 million households) could be unprotected from the deadly gas, which kills on average 50 people every year and leaves many more needing hospital treatment.
This is despite legislation coming into force in October 2015 that requires landlords fit CO alarms in properties with solid fuel burning appliances. The legislation does not cover gas appliances such as a gas boiler or gas hob.
According to the research, the three areas where tenants were least likely to have a CO alarm fitted by their landlord were Northern Ireland (57 per cent), the north west of England (54 per cent) and the north east of England (49 per cent). Scottish tenants were most likely to have a smoke alarm fitted, with only 24 per cent saying they did not.
Eddie Hughes, MP for Walsall North and Project SHOUT ambassador, is proposing a change in the law to make it mandatory for landlords to install CO alarms in all properties, not just in those with a solid fuel burning appliance.
This research follows a study that revealed only 46% of UK university students living in rented accommodation have a CO alarm installed. The poll also revealed that half of UK university students don’t recognise the symptoms of CO poisoning, which include dizziness, headaches and nausea, and are twice as likely to think they have a hangover or the flu, with the latter being particularly relevant during the winter months.