Today marks the day when new regulations enter into force, to require Landlords of rented properties to install and maintain Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Alarms. Whilst any measure to prevent death and injury is always welcome, the regulations expose a deficit in political thinking and action to protect many more ordinary citizens!
The new regulations only apply to those rented properties that have solid fuel burning devices and ignore other potential sources of poisoning such as gas or oil.
The regulations only apply to properties in England.
More importantly, the new regulations are silent on the issue of holiday accommodation!
Given that this year, a Coroner has severely criticised the Tour Operator in the Corfu Carbon Monoxide case and that we are awaiting his report and recommendations following the conclusion of the inquest, it would not be unreasonable to expect that the government would have given subsequent consideration and provided action on behalf of the Consumer taking holidays in UK holiday accommodation.
We estimate that in the UK each week, across a wide variety of accommodation types, some 500,000 holidaymakers in the winter and some 1.5m holidaymakers in the main season, will now continue to be at risk of being exposed to the effects of Carbon Monoxide, simply because of a desire not to over-regulate.
Prior to the publication of these Regulations, this Organisation produced a detailed response to the Government’s Consultation and made strong arguments for the inclusion of holiday properties in any regulation.
Frank Brehany, the Consumer Director for HolidayTravelWatch states:
“This is extremely disappointing; I sincerely hope that we will not be called upon to comment upon the death or serious injury of a holidaymaker, simply because of a non-regulatory ideology or a lack of political will”
“We have been engaged for several years with campaigners, in arguing for a better regulatory environment to protect Consumers and Home-owners. I regret to say, with some notable exceptions, that the political will in Westminster is weak. This Government should now re-open this inquiry and create the conditions for a wider regulatory protection; if they cannot achieve this at Westminster, then they should use all efforts to secure a pan-European solution!”