As of February 2022 all homes in Scotland will be legally required to have interlinked fire alarms.
It is the responsibility of the homeowner to ensure that the alarms in their property meet the new legal standards, and to pay the cost of fitting the alarms. If you are a landlord you will be responsible for the fitting and payment in each of your rental properties.
These legal changes have been made by the Government following both the Grenfell Fire in 2017 and a 2018 study which found that up to 38% of homes in the UK do not have working fire alarms.
How many alarms should be fitted in your home?
The new minimum requirement is that each home have:
- One smoke alarm fitted in the living room or most used room in the house;
- One smoke alarm in each hallway or landing of the property;
- One heat alarm in the kitchen; and
- A sealed carbon monoxide detector in any room where a boiler or heater has been fitted
The smoke alarms and heat alarm must be interlinked and mounted to the ceiling.
The importance of a carbon monoxide detector
Carbon monoxide is a toxic and flammable gas which has no smell, and often goes undetected. It is a legal requirement that a carbon monoxide detector is fitted in any room where there is a fuel burning appliance (boiler, fireplace etc). Any home with a boiler fitted after 2013 should already have a carbon monoxide detector but it is important that this is checked.
What type of smoke and heat alarms should be fitted?
Your heat and smoke alarms may be either tamperproof sealed battery alarms fitted with a long-life battery, or wired mains alarms.
A sealed battery alarm can be fitted by anyone without the need for an electrician, however a wired mains alarm requires a qualified electrician to fit the alarm, and your property may require some redecorating after the work is complete.
The potential impact on home insurance
Home insurance terms and conditions will vary depending on the provider, and it is important that you check the terms of your policy. It is likely that most insurers will now insist on your property meeting the new legal requirements before agreeing to insure your property.
What will it cost to update your fire alarms?
Costs of upgrading your system will vary depending on the size of the property and work required. You should contact a local reputable engineer for a better understanding of costs.
There may be financial help for older and disabled homeowners on low incomes from Care and Repair Scotland – Welcome | Care and Repair Scotland
The impact on selling your property
Surveyors will now look to see if your property is compliant with the new legislation and comment on this in the Home Report for your sale. It may cause issues for you when selling if your property does not meet the up to date requirements.
If you have any questions or need advice please contact a member of our team who will be happy to help.
For further information visit – Fire and smoke alarms: changes to the law – gov.scot (www.gov.scot)