Changes to the laws on fire alarms

The law on fire alarms is changing.

By February 2022, all homes in Scotland will be required to have interlinked fire alarms, meaning if one alarm goes off, they all go off. This will alert you to danger more quickly, no matter where you are in your home.

The new legislation requires all homes to have:

  • One smoke alarm installed in the room most frequently used for general daytime living purposes
  • One smoke alarm in every circulation space on each storey, such as hallways and landings
  • One heat alarm installed in the kitchen All alarms should be ceiling mounted and interlinked
  • Where there is a carbon-fuelled appliance, such as a boiler, fire (including open fires) and heater, a carbon monoxide detector is also required. (This does not need to be linked to the fire alarms.)

For example – a one bedroom flat will need two smoke alarms and one heat alarm. If you have a carbon fuelled appliance like a boiler, you will also need a carbon monoxide detector.

A 3 bedroom, 2 storey house will need 3 smoke alarms and one heat alarm. If you have a carbon fuelled appliance like a boiler, you will also need a carbon monoxide detector.

Private Tenants should already have interlinked alarms in place.  If you don’t, speak to your landlord.

Council and Housing Association tenants will see their landlords carrying out a program of work to make sure alarms are in place.

Homeowners are responsible for making sure their home meets the new fire alarms standard, and for finding a contractor to carry out the work.

There are two types of alarms available:

  • Tamper proof long-life battery-operated alarms, which can last for up to 10 years, and can be fitted by the homeowner or a handyperson.
  • Mains wired alarms, which should be installed by a qualified electrician.

When purchasing an alarm, choose a reputable brand and make sure the packaging clearly displays compliance with BS EN14604:2005 for smoke alarms. Carbon monoxide alarms should have the British Kitemark (EN 50291-1). Heat alarms should comply with BS 5446-2:2003.

For help installing alarms if you are elderly or disabled, contact your local Care and Repair Service.

To find out more about the new legislation and the support available, visit: mygov.scot/firealarms
or https://www.firescotland.gov.uk/your-safety/at-home/alarms/

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