A survey of house- and flat-share private tenants shows 15 per cent claiming not to have a working smoke alarm in their home - despite this being a legal requirement imposed on landlords or letting agents from the start of last month.
The survey by website SpareRoom claims that 57 per cent of tenants are certain they have working smoke alarms in their homes, while a further 16 per cent say they know they have alarms but are uncertain as to whether they are functioning properly.
Worryingly, the survey also shows that some seven per cent of tenants have deliberately removed the batteries from smoke alarms.
The new regulations for agents and landlords fitting smoke and carbon monoxide alarms was aimed at reducing the current average of 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year caused by an absence of appropriate alarms, according to the government.
An earlier poll of landlords by SpareRoom showed that 49 per cent of them were not actually aware of this change in regulation.