Changing Public Policy on Carbon Monoxide Alarms – regulations to keep people safe in their homes

Policy Connect’s Laura Fatah spoke at the IGEM Safety Conference today about the Government’s proposed changes to carbon monoxide alarm regulations, on behalf of Policy Connect, which provides the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group.

These changes, which will help keep many more people from being poisoned in their own homes, were recommended in our 2017 report CO Alarms: Tenants Safe and Secure in their Homes. The report was led by MPs Barry Sheerman and Eddie Hughes and assisted by an expert multi-sector panel including Gas Distribution Networks, the National Association of Landlords, Local Government (Redbridge Council), the National Fire Chiefs Council, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Gas Safety Trust, Scottish Landlords Association, Liverpool John Moores University, National Energy Action, and HETAS, the solid fuel safety and standards organisation.

We were delighted that last year, in proposing the regulations cover much more than homes with solid fuel burners, the Government recognised the APPCOG’s contribution:

“The government welcomes the valuable work of the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG) and the experts and stakeholders who are engaged on this critically important issue. We agree that the cost of alarms has fallen since 2010. We want to see a greater number of residents benefit from the protection and reassurance that carbon monoxide alarms can provide. We accept APPCOG’s finding that limiting requirements to solid-fuel burning appliances has made the regulations complicated.”

The proposed changes to the regulations would require:

  • that carbon monoxide alarms are fitted alongside the installation of fixed combustion appliances of any fuel type (excluding gas cookers); and
  • private and social landlords to install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where a fixed combustion appliance is used (excluding gas cookers).

The consultation on these proposed changes closed earlier this year and we look forward to reading its outcome in due course.  In the meantime the APPCOG’s chairs have written to Ministers to ask that gas cookers, which can also be deadly, be included in the new regulations.