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New regulations to combat carbon monoxide poisoning

An assembly member has welcomed the introduction of legislation for carbon monoxide detectors in rented homes in Wales.

The Welsh Government says new regulations are to be introduced to tackle the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Around 60 people a year are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in Wales and thousands are hospitalised.


The regulations will require landlords in Wales and their agents to install working carbon monoxide alarms, smoke alarms and undertake an electrical safety test at least every five years.

The time frame is not clear at this stage, but it would appear that it will be implemented as part of the introduction of Section 91 of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 and prior to the end of this Assembly term in 2021.

Clwyd West AM Darren Millar previously expressed concerns to the Senedd over the absence of legal requirements for the detectors to be installed in rental properties. 

But he has welcomed confirmation that a new section of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will include additional requirements for landlords to install working carbon monoxide alarms, smoke alarms and undertake an electrical safety test at least every five years. 

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to hear that new regulations will be coming into force to ensure landlords install carbon monoxide testers in their properties and the Minister is committed to ensuring they are implemented by the end of this Assembly term.”


Many people are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, particularly if they do not have a CO alarm in their property. 

In the short-term, carbon monoxide poisoning can cause dizziness, sickness, tiredness and stomach pain, while prolonged exposure can lead to loss of consciousness and have a significant impact on an individual’s mental state, coordination and heart health.

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that is produced when fuel does not burn properly - usually from badly fitted or poorly maintained appliances. 

Though carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas, it has no smell or taste, so it is not obvious when someone has been exposed to it. Just breathing it in can make somebody very unwell and it can kill if a person is exposed to high levels.

Millar added: Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas, but, being colourless, odourless, tasteless, and initially non-irritating, it is very difficult for people to detect. 

“Unfortunately, many people across Wales still do not know enough about its dangers and it continues to claim lives or leave people with long-term chronic health problems.

“Currently 60 people a year are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning and thousands are hospitalised. Hopefully, these new regulations will help to reduce that figure.”

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Poll: Do you think that landlords should be required to install working carbon monoxide alarms, smoke alarms and undertake an electrical safety test at least every five years?


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    Probably makes sense, but who's paying ? well the tenant of course by an increase in rent to cover the landlords extra expense.

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    Landlords should fit them whilst fitting the smoke alarms. They are quite cheap -no big deal. I hope they are not legislating for electric only homes, as not all properties have gas, that would make a nonsense. Regarding electric testing. Agree a 5 year electric test, makes sense. Legislation should include PAT testing of all electrical items in the home especially chargers that can overheat. With so much cheap foreign rubbish much of it counterfeit invading our markets it is in everyone's interest to check out ALL appliances. Of course the tenants items should be paid for by the tenant and be mandatory for testing. Safer Homes Makes Sense.


    Don't think landlords provide chargers. It is a tenant thing and if they are cheapskates then they buy cheap foreign i.e. fake chargers and when they catch fire it's usually at a cost to a landlord. 5 year or change of tenant electrical test is a good idea and PAT tests where portable appliances are installed by the landlord also a good idea. Again tenants install many items themselves and it comes back to the landlord to prove he did not supply. Inventory works every time. Good idea to make tenants pay for PAT testing their appliances but when would they agree to this?

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    electric only new homes from 2025--the power supplied centrally by gas

    another un/eu nonsense--as of course was grenfell!

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    I have all those certificates already, General Electric Periodic, Interlinked Fire detection alarms, Emergency Lighting & Monoxide alarm, but don't like the Pat testing regulations you are on about because of the nonsense it makes you do, for example its every year for some appliances but if wire-in directly via spur connection its every 5 years for, fridges / Freezers, washing machines, some ovens, or other heavy appliances etc, which is a cursed nuisance and more dangerous especially when they break down & need to replace or not least when Tenant decide to start moving them about, regarding phone chargers belong to Tenant we can't cover them anyway only the Sockets and how many do they have of change willy-nilly.

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    The most important check would be for property inspections to be made by someone who knows what they are looking at. Just seeing damage or unauthorised modifications is enough to say it is dangerous, it does not need a test. Who ever fixes the problem can do the testing.

    I get very angry when my agent inspects my properties by taking lousy pictures and never looks at what they are photographing. They just don't see things like white power sockets half burned brown from overheating.

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    Tenants need to take some responsibility for their own safety. Are mortgage suppliers going to be forced to put CO alarms etc. in those properties for which they have provided mortgages?

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    • 20 January 2020 18:52 PM

    One can't really disagree with these safety proposals.
    But it is just another swathe of costs for LL with such costs inevitably being have to be passed onto tenants.
    LL will not accept a reduction in profits to pay for all these additional costs.
    The PAT thing is a bit of an issue in that any LL supplied electrical item involves an annual test again at LL cost.
    It is no wonder that LL refuse to supply electric appliances unless they are hardwired so as to avoid the PAT regime.
    I have been seriously considering supplying TVs but now it seems I would need to do a PAT every year at my cost!
    I receive no extra rent for supplying domestic electrical appliances so why bother!?
    No idea how much PAT is per appliance.
    But you wouldn't book into a B & B without safe electrics; smoke and CO detectors.
    So not really unreasonable that a letting property should be subject to a similar regime.
    But certainly a LL can't control the appliances that a tenant brings into a property.
    It is a completely logical response for LL not to supply electrical appliances.


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