FIRE chiefs are celebrating after lifesaving new safety regulations have been approved by the Government following a major campaign spearheaded by Cheshire Fire.

The recently accepted regulations, which make it compulsory for all landlords to fit smoke alarms onto every floor of their rented homes, were approved by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords and will come into effect on October 1.

The law also forces landlords to fit carbon monoxide alarms in properties which have solid fuel burning appliances and to check the alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy. Failure to comply can result in a penalty of up to £5,000.

Mark Cashin, Cheshire’s deputy chief fire officer and Chairman of the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) Home Safety Committee said: “I am delighted that the Government recognised the strength of the case we put forward and the major improvements in public safety this simple step will bring.

“While death and injuries from fires have reduced considerably in recent years, the majority of victims continue to be those who are most vulnerable, often living in private rented accommodation.

“This change will improve the safety of families and stop dozens of people from losing their lives to fire each year.”

The government’s green light came on the same day that Paul Hancock, Cheshire’s chief fire officer, was elected as the new president of the CFOA.

Mr Hancock said: “It’s a great honour to be elected to this key position in the fire and rescue sector and to do so on the same day as a Cheshire-led campaign secured such a major improvement in fire safety makes it doubly rewarding.”

Cllr John Joyce, Cheshire Fire Authority chairman, added: “Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has always been at the forefront of improving community safety so it is fitting that we played a leading role in bringing in this vital new legislation.”

To help landlords prepare for the new regulations the Government has provided fire and rescue services with free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to give out to suitable landlords.