Staffs fire engine 180More than 2,500 homes across Staffordshire are now better protected thanks to a county-wide safety drive aimed at landlords.

The Service held 12 events ahead of new laws for landlords coming into force this October which ensure that smoke alarms are fitted on every level of rented properties they own.

Group Manager Paul Shaw said: "The aim of the events was for our Fire Safety Officers to be able to talk to landlords and offer them information and advice on how to ensure that their tenants are kept as safe as possible in their homes. 

"The end result is that approximately 2,500 properties across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent will now be fitted with devices that will warn tenants if there is a risk to their lives and the lives of their families."

The legislation requires all landlords to fit at least one smoke alarm on each floor of the property as well as a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms containing a solid fuel appliance. They also state that landlords must check that all of the alarms are working when a new tenancy starts.

During the information sessions 700 carbon monoxide detectors and 6,000 smoke alarms were given out, free of charge. In return, the landlords agreed to sign up to a Home Fire Risk Check, which is also free, for the properties they rent out.

GM Shaw, who led the initiative, added: "We decided to add the caveat of asking all landlords who attended our events to sign up for a free Home Fire Risk Check so, not only will their tenants benefit from the alarms, they will also have a visit from the Service at which point any potential risks or hazards will be highlighted.

"Statistics show that people are four times more likely to die in a fire if they do not have a working smoke alarm. Initiatives such as this one mean we are getting ever closer to eliminating that risk."

Home Fire Risk Checks are available to all residents in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent - visit www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp