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Owner Occupied Flat of communal stairway does not have any automatic fire detection


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Hi, has anyone got experience of the following?

A two-storey purpose-built block of flats has a communal area from which all flats are accessed.  It was built in the 1980’s. It has a mixed fire alarm system. In the communal area there is a BS5839:Part 1, fire alarm system with smoke detection and sounders in each flat.  The rented flats all have BS5839:Part 6 standalone systems with heat detection in the kitchen and smoke detection in the hallway.  The anomaly is that flats which are owner occupied have varying systems, from battery operated smoke detection in the hallway and some owner-occupied flats do not have any automatic fire detection.

Our concerns are the owner occupied flats, and ideally we would like to have a BS5839:Part 6 smoke detector installed in the flat hallway. 

The question is, can the owner occupiers of flats accessed off the common areas be legally forced to have any form of smoke detection provided in their private flats.  Clearly it would be of benefit to them if they are at home and a fire occurs.  Such an alarm may also be heard in neighbouring flats. 

I know the RRO does not apply, the Housing Act I’m not sure about it in relation to the problem raised?

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System just seems to be relevant to Landlords.

Can such an issue with an owner occupier of a flat, accessed of the common area, not having smoke detection in the flat normally be dealt with as part of the leasehold? 

Your assistance is appreciated.



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Unless you are in Scotland it's at their own risk really - you can't enforce it, only any provision required for the common good, hence why they have the common detector & sounder in the hallway but not a domestic one. 

If they asked for a Home Fire Safety visit by the fire service they would potentially get a Grade F1 smoke alarm fitted free if it's a cost thing, but otherwise if they want to risk their lives that's their choice as the required provisions to protect others are in place.

Read your lease though - it might have something out of the ordinary that you could use.

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