Private landlords who fail to install smoke alarms could be hit with £5,000 fines under new regulations.

As of October 1, landlords are required by law to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on each floor of rented properties, following a change in legislation aimed at saving lives.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) is warning the public about the new safety law as only a "fraction" of landlords in the capital have taken up a government-funded free alarm offer.

It is estimated the new law will save around 230 lives and result in 5,860 fewer injuries over the next decade.

LFB assistant commissioner for fire safety, Neil Orbell, said: "We are deliberately targeting areas of London that we have identified as having a greater risk of having fires.

"If you are a private landlord and your property is in an ‘at risk’ area you can get alarms from us free of charge.

"Tenants can also play a part in taking responsibility for their own safety by reminding their landlords about the new legislation if there are no smoke or carbon monoxide alarms in their home."

The legislation also requires landlords to check that all alarms are working before the start of each tenancy, but the new law does not apply to social landlords and Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) as they are both covered by existing laws.

Walthamstow landlord Muhammad Ashraf was given a suspended sentence and ordered to pay £22,684 in costs on September 25 after two men lost their lives as a direct result of fire safety failures.

The HMO property in Woodlands Road, Walthamstow, did not have smoke detectors or alarms, fire resistant doors or a dedicated fire exit, when the fire ripped through the terrace house in July 2011.