Students urged to make sure rented accommodation meets safety standards

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The National Standards Authority is urging all students moving into private rented accommodation to ensure it meets the proper health and safety standards.

More than 50,000 young people will be entering into third level education for the first time come September, many of whom will be spending the next nine months in rented accommodation.

Countless more students will be returning for another academic year at University or an Institute of Technology.

Minister Pat Breen said “Standards are playing an increasingly significant role in society by highlighting and ensuring the quality of the goods we buy, the services we use and the work we undertake.”

“I would encourage all students to be aware of the importance of standards, not only for their college years, but throughout their future working lives.”

The NSAI highlighted that landlords have an obligation to meet certain minimum physical and safety standards including, but not limited to, the presence of two smoke alarms, a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector, a fire blanket and a fixed heater.

“Finding appropriate rental accommodation for students in the current climate is very challenging,  given the current shortage in housing supply,” said Pat Bracken, NSAI’s Director of Corporate Services.

“We’re asking people to be mindful of standards when they do secure a place to stay and, if necessary, to remind landlords of their obligations when it comes to providing a safe place to live.”

“All rental accommodation, regardless of size or type, should contain two smoke alarms, a CO detector, a fire blanket and fixed heating.”

“All of those items should display the CE mark and, where applicable, meet the relevant standards,” he added.

Some safety tips from the NSAI include: only buy electrical appliances which display the CE mark, avoid overloading power circuits, keep electric heaters away from everything else, and regularly test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.