Two men have died, and five people have been taken to hospital, following a suspected leak of carbon monoxide in a North London rental property.
The pair, aged 35 and 42, were discovered by emergency services in the property, situated in Bacon Lane, Edgware.
Among the five taken to hospital were two young boys, a woman and two other men.
The two deaths are currently being treated as unexplained, with post mortems taking place to establish for sure the cause of death.
The Metropolitan Police force said in a statement, “At this early stage, police believe that there was a possible carbon monoxide leak at the address.
“Police in Harrow continue to deal [with the case] alongside the Health and Safety Executive who have been informed.
“The occupants of the semi-detached property are thought to have moved in just 3 or 4 weeks before the incident happened. In addition to the police service, London Fire Brigade also rushed to the scene. A spokesperson said, “Two adult males, one adult female, one male child and one male infant have also been treated on site for carbon monoxide poisoning and taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service.
Neighbours also spoke of their shock surrounding the deaths. One neighbour, who works in the medical profession, said to the press: “It’s really shocking, very sad, the loss of life. It doesn’t matter how it happens, but it’s really sad. It’s a rented property. I know the owner, I’ve met him. He was renovating just after Christmas. I don’t know what they did inside, but I think they did carpets, painting.”
Whilst there are hefty fines and other breaches in the law that landlords could be subject to without appropriate smoke alarms in their properties, this really pales in comparison to putting tenants’ lives at risk.
According to the BBC, “action will be taken against the landlord of a property where two men died of a suspected carbon monoxide leak.
“Harrow Council said the landlord had been operating an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO).
“A house in multiple occupation is a property rented out by at least three people who are not from one “household” – for example a family – but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen.”
What can be done to avoid this type of incident in the future?
If you’re worried about whether your property complies with current Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations, for your responsibility to your tenants, Landlord News has a series of helpful guides. Have a read of the one specifically for sticking to the law on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
When considering news stories like this, it seems inconceivable to not equip rental properties with appropriate, functional alarm systems. The benefits of installing modern fire and carbon monoxide detection systems are sure to outweigh any upfront costs too, so you and your tenants can rest assured the occupants of your property are as safe as possible.