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  • Buy-to-Let

    Smoke detector location, battery or hard wire

    Hi All

        I’m going to start a new refurb project in a single let flat next week. The kitchen does not have doors and smoke alarm. Is it required to have the door fitted in the kitchen to separate of the other rooms? Is smoke alarm required to be in the kitchen or corridor? Can it be electric or battery operated?  I would like to see your feedback/advice

    Thank you

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    Its how much precautions you want to put in place. I personally would definitely have one in kitchen and one in the hallway as a minimum.

    Battery and mains connected are both acceptable. Mains are obv more expensive to install but more assuring, so it's a personal choice.

    I tend to also install a heat detector near kitchen as a personal preference plus a monoxide alarm near the gas boiler.

    Note that you can get smoke detectors that come off the light circuit which are just as effective as a full on mains connected integrated ones but much much cheaper.

    With regards to doors, I don't think it's essential but desirable. It depends on your flat layout. A fire protected door to the rest of the flat gives more time to escape.

    Hope this helps

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    Saagar

    Disclaimer: I have no legal expertise nor am I a qualified advisor on any subject. A humble landlord using an open forum to exchange ideas and experiences. 

    The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 require you to have a smoke alarm on every floor of a rented property. I would also fit a heat detector in the kitchen. Don't put a smoke detector in the kitchen as you will get constant false alarms.

    I always install Aico mains powered alarms with integrated batteries. The tenants can't take the batteries for other devices and they are easy to change every 10 years. I also interlink the alarms but this may not be easy to do in a flat unless you are on the top floor with access to the loft (unless you use trunking).

    You should have a well fitting door on the kitchen (see the LACORS/Fire brigade Fire Safety document). Personally if you are refurbing, I would change the door lining for a fire door lining and install a fire door with an intumescent strip in the lining but no smoke seal or closer. You can always fit a batwing smoke seal and a closer later.

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    tip


    take a video of yourself testing the alarm as proof that theres 1 fitted and that it was working

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    If you're refurbing, why not go for FD30 doors and get an inter-linked smoke alarm system, although you'll probably only require a heat alarm in the kitchen and a smoke alarm in the hallway.

    Don't forget a carbon monoxide detector as well - these can also be hard-wired.

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    If you are refurbing put in a hard wired one now - some insist on it anyway and it will future proof yourself - its not a huge expense - units are about £30 each and a bit of a cable and a fused spur - if you have work being done it is an extra hour or twos work - I did my own at home - very simple - DO NOT put a smoke alarm in your kitchen - Tenants just cover it with tin foil as it keeps going off when they cook bacon - just a heat sensor there.

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    I am going through a refurb too of a 3 bedroom two storey house. I was considering installing sealed battery powered type, That will last for 10 yrs. Two smoke detectors, upstairs landing and downstairs hallway. In addition to a heat detector in the kitchen. They are wirelessly interlinked so that if one sounds, they all sound. Is there anything wrong with this setup? I can easily install this myself, will I require anyone to test it or can I do this myself prior to tenants moving in?
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