Todd Foreman, Labour Parliamentary candidate for North East Somerset, has today (9th May 2014) backed plans to protect people who rent their homes from the risk of death because of fires by ensuring that landlords have smoke alarms installed in properties they let out.
The current MP for North East Somerset, Conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg, earlier this week was one of only eight MPs who voted against a motion calling on the the government to require landlords to install smoke alarms.
Evidence shows that house fires in which a smoke detector raises the alarm are discovered more rapidly and lead to fewer casualties. Official statistics reveal that privately rented homes have a lower percentage of smoke alarms when compared to owner occupied, local authority or housing association properties.
Nine million people are living in rented homes today, over a million families, and over two million children. Last week Ed Miliband set out plans to tackle the cost of living crisis by making longer-term three year tenancies the norm and stopping excessive and unpredictable jumps in rent by placing a ceiling on any increases. Backing the mandatory installation of smoke alarms in the private rented sector is the latest part of Labour’s plans to build a safer and more secure private rented sector.
Todd Foreman said:
“We all know that smoke alarms save lives. Privately rented properties are the least likely to have smoke alarms, but the Tory-led Government and local MP Jacob Rees-Mogg refuse to act to ensure that landlords install them. Rees-Mogg was one of only eight MPs to vote against a motion which has wide support, including from the trade bodies representing landlords such as the National Landlords Association and the British Property Federation.
"There are a growing number of people and families in the private rented sector and they deserve better. That’s why I’m backing plans to ensure that people have safer homes that offer greater stability and security.
"In this day and age a smoke alarm is an inexpensive safety measure that should be regarded as a necessity for all homes. Having working smoke alarms also helps our firefighters by making it less likely that they will have to risk their lives to rescue tenants.”