Fire and smoke alarms in Scotland - changes to the law


Fire and smoke alarms in Scotland - changes to the law

If you have a property in Scotland (either domestic or rental) the law in regard to smoke alarms is changing in February 2022.

This guide will explain the changes and how you can stay compliant.

What are the changes?

The new legislation requires that a ceiling-mounted smoke alarm is installed:

  • In the room most used for daytime living (e.g. the living room)
  • In every circulation space on each storey of the home (e.g. the hallway or landing)

A heat alarm (which sounds when a room reaches a certain temperature) must also be installed in every kitchen.

All these alarms need to be interlinked, either through fixed wiring or a wireless system. This means that all alarms will sound and not just the one affected by smoke or fire.

If there is a carbon-fuelled appliance (e.g. a boiler, open fire or flue), a carbon monoxide detector is also required. This does not need to be interlinked.

Will this legislation affect me?

All homes in Scotland are affected by this new standard, whether domestic or rental. 

Do I have to pay for the work?

Any costs will be the responsibility of the homeowner or landlord.

Older and disabled homeowners may be able to get financial assistance from their local council.

Do I need to get an electrician to carry out the work?

If you buy tamper-proof lithium battery-powered alarms, you should be able to fit these yourself. 

Mains-wired alarms need to be installed by a qualified electrician.

Is there anything I need to bear in mind if I own a rental property?

If you own a shared property, the alarms only need to be interlinked in each property.

You don’t have to fit alarms in communal spaces like stairways and entry halls.

When is the legislation coming into effect?

1 February 2022.

The Scottish Government meant for this standard to be implemented in February 2021.

However, because of the difficulties caused by COVID-19, it was agreed to push the legislation back a year.

More information is available on the Scottish Government’s website.

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