The government has confirmed that letting agents and landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties from October.

The move will help prevent up to 36 deaths and 1,375 injuries a year and, according to the government, comes with strong support after a consultation across the private rented sector.

England’s 46 fire and rescue authorities are expected to offer support to agents and landlords in their own areas to meet their new responsibilities with the provision of free alarms, with grant funding from the government.

In 1988 just eight per cent of homes had a smoke alarm installed but now, even before the mandatory private rental sector measure, it is over 90 per cent according to government.

“The vast majority of landlords offer a good service and have installed smoke alarms in their homes, but I’m changing the law to ensure every tenant can be given this important protection” says housing minister Brandon Lewis.

Official data shows that people are at least four times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there’s no working smoke alarm.