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I recently moved into a flat in what I understand is a converted warehouse building. Whilst there are no smoke detectors in the 'common parts' - there are detectors in my flat. One in the kitchen and one in the hall. When should these be tested? Is that down to me? There is no fire alarm panel at our main entrance and the leaseholder I'm renting from hasn't been the clearest with their response. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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The landlord has to provide smoke alarm also CO detectors in each flat, check out The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. When you move into the flat the landlord should test them after that it is up to the tenant.

Keeping your smoke alarms in good working order protects you and your family against fire. By pressing the test button on your alarm, you can check if the battery in your smoke alarm is still charged and find out if your alarm is ready and working. However, it is just too easy to forget this crucial test. Safelincs can offer to help you by reminding you via email, and at your chosen frequency, to test your smoke alarm regularly.


Maintaining your smoke alarm

To keep your smoke alarm in good working order, you should:

  • test it once a month, by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds
  • change the battery once a year (unless it's a ten-year alarm)
  • the landlord should replace the whole unit every ten years
  • clean your smoke alarm once every three months using the soft brush of your vacuum cleaner. This will ensure you remove any excess dust or insects.
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