In March 2015 the Government announced that Landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties. This measure came into effect on 1st October 2015, the law requires landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property and to test them at the start of tenancy.
Landlords will also need to install carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed. Those who fail to install alarms will face sanctions and could face up to a £5,000 penalty.
As some Landlords live abroad our letting agents contacted us to enquire what Smart Inventory could do to test these alarms on behalf of the Landlords and the managing letting agent, as it would make perfect sense when our clerks are conducting an inventory and check in we could test the alarms on their behalf.
The problem for our inventory clerks would be that some alarms are too high to reach. In March we started to research how we could test these. We had to find a product that would be small enough for our clerks to carry in their bags but long enough to reach the alarm.
We initially decided to buy an extendable car aerial, this would be small enough to carry in a bag, however it did not lock into place and just retracted when we pushed the button on the smoke detector.
Steve Hickling then decided a police truncheon may be the product we needed, he searched on the internet and we purchased one, once again this product did not work.
We needed to be ready for October when it would become a legal obligation to test these our letting agents were looking to Smart Inventory for a solution. Next we had the idea of purchasing a hiking stick, as they have a small enough tip to push the button and they extended and locked into place. Smart Inventory now had a solution and we contacted our agents to inform them. We purchased one for each of our inventory clerks so they could use them beforehand when conducting inventories and check ins.
Unfortunately we later discovered that whilst pressing the button on a smoke alarm you are only testing that power is going to the unit and not testing the sensor. After much research we found a smoke detector tester. The aerosol can be extended and fires a puff of smoke on the sensor and gives a true test to reflect alarms are in working order.
All our Inventory clerks have been issued with these and since using them on our inventories we have been surprised that although alarms are showing a green light to show they have power, when tested with our smoke detector spray the alarm was found to be faulty and not working.