There have been changes and the introduction of new rules to the fire and smoke alarm that every home must in Scotland comply with. This blog will discuss the interlink of smoke and heat alarms and what you need to do to meet the new standards of the Scottish fire and rescue service.
Changes to the fire alarm law in Scotland from 1 February 2022
Following the tragic incident at Grenfell Tower in London, the Scottish Government reviewed Scotland’s building and fire safety laws. As a result, legislation* that was passed initially in January 2019 took effect in February 2022. The new legal requirements were initially scheduled to take effect in February 2021, but because of COVID-19’s complications, the Scottish Parliament decided to postpone implementation for a year.
Fire safety and smoke alarm rules for Scottish Homes
All residential homes, whether they are owned or rented, must have the following:
- There is one heat alarm in every kitchen,
- one alarm in every area that is used frequently for everyday living, and
- a smoke alarm in every floor’s circulation zone.
These need to be interlinked fire alarms to one another and mounted on the ceiling.
A carbon monoxide alarm must also be installed near any carbon-fueled item, such as a boiler, fire, or heater. The fire alarms do not need to be connected to this. There are two type of alarms that meet the new specifications:
- alarms with long-lasting, tamper-proof lithium batteries that people themselves may install;
- mains-wired alarms, which are less expensive but may need a building warrant to be installed in a flat and should be fitted by a qualified electrician.
Individual properties do not need to be linked to the fire alarms in other tenements or apartment buildings, nor are alarms required in common spaces like stairwells and entrance halls. The owner of the property is in charge of seeing that the regulations are followed, and local authorities have the legal authority to deal with homes that don’t live up to the acceptable standard. Private renters may be able to file a claim at the tribunal against their landlord for noncompliance. The new requirements can be a requirement of household insurance plans.
How the new fire alarm law by the Scottish government affects selling your home
The new rules will form part of any Home Report, which is made available to potential buyers. You will have to comply with the new legal criteria, which will be vital when selling your property. A full list of the new law and requirements, along with pertinent questions and answers, may be found on the Scottish Government website. Electricians and qualified trade companies will be able to offer advice in specific instances.
You can get more fire safety advice from the Scottish Government on their ‘Fire safety for homeowners’ webpage and on their Safer Scotland Facebook page.