Changes to fire & smoke alarm regulations – what you need to know?
In light of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 the Scottish Government have updated legislation relating to smoke and fire alarms in homes. The new requirement were due to be implemented from February 2021. Due to the current Covid 19 pandemic this legislation is has now been be delayed until February 2022. However, it may be useful to consider reviewing and upgrading your fire and smoke alarms before this new deadline. We’ve outlined some of the things you need to be aware of.
What alarms do I need to have in my home?
- To help ensure your safety to Scottish Government requires all homes to be fitted with the following:
- A smoke alarm in the room most frequently used for general daytime living purposes, usually your sitting room.
- One smoke alarm in every circulation space on each storey, such as hallways and landings. For example if you live ina two storey house you will need one in downstairs hallway, and one on the upstairs landing.
- One heat alarm installed in every kitchen.
- All alarms should be ceiling mounted an interlinked. The alarms need to be interlinked so that even if you are not in the room where the fire or smoke is present, you are aware that there is an issue in your home. In addition, if you have a carbon-fuelled appliance , usually a boiler, fire (including open fires and heaters) or a flue, a carbon monoxide detector is also required. This does not need to be linked to the fire alarms.
Can I fit the alarms myself?
Yes you can. There are battery operated alarms available which can interlink and don’t need to be installed by an electrician, however it may be worth obtaining a quote linked smoke and fire alarm system as this could prove to be cheaper in the long run.
I already have smoke alarms but they are not interlinked.
The new legislation requires that the alarms are interlinked, so you will be required to change them to meet the new standard.
I live in rented accommodation, do I have to fit them?
These standards already apply in the rented sector, so your landlord should already be complying. If you think that your landlord has not fitted these types of alarms you should apply to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber). If you rent your home from a local authority or housing association they will be aware of the new standard and will be in the process of implementing the required changes.
I’m in the process of selling my home, do I need to fit the alarms to meet the new specification? I live in rented accommodation, do I have to fit them?
Compliance will be required for any Home Report as soon as the legislation comes into force which is February 2022. It may be prudent to look at putting the new alarms in place as it will provide improved fire safety in your home.
Please consult the Scottish Government factsheet for more information.
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