On 1 February 2022, new legislation came into place requiring every home in Scotland to have interlinked smoke alarms. The legislation was first introduced in 2019 following the Grenfell Tower fire. The implementation of the legislation was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The aim of this legislation is to make sure every home in Scotland is protected.
This legislation applies to all homes in Scotland. Homeowners need to install new interlinked smoke alarms in their homes. Tenants living in private rented accommodation need to make sure their landlord install these alarms.
What alarms does a house now need to have?
Each home needs a mix of smoke and heat alarms as well as a carbon monoxide detector.
Smoke alarms need to be installed in the main living room – that’s the room used most often during the day by those living in the house. They also need to be installed in all circulation areas. That means a smoke alarm needs to be installed in the hall. If you live in a two (or more) storey house, a smoke alarm needs to be installed on each floor or landing.
A heat alarm must be installed in every kitchen.
The smoke and heat alarms must be interlinked
In addition, a carbon monoxide detector must be installed in the room containing any carbon burning appliance – your central heating boiler, open fire etc. The carbon monoxide detector does not need to be linked to the heat and smoke alarms.
What about the alarms you already have installed?
Any “stand alone” smoke or heat alarms no longer comply with the new legislation. In addition, any new battery alarms must be sealed units – that means the batteries cannot be replaced and when the alarm reaches the end of its useful life (usually 10 years), the entire unit must be replaced.
There are also certain standards the new alarms must meet. These are:
- Heat alarms – BS 5446-2:2003
- Smoke alarms – BS EN14604:2005
- Carbon monoxide detector: British Kitemark EN50291-1
You can also opt to have mains power alarms installed. We recommend you have this done by a qualified installation engineer.
Is it an offence not to fit the new alarms?
It is not a criminal offence if you do not have these new alarms installed. Local Authorities across Scotland are responsible for enforcing the legislation. They will not enter homes and will not issue fines to tenants or householders.
However, if you decide to sell your house, the lack of the new alarms will be mentioned on your Home Report as an essential requirement. In addition, whilst insurers have indicated the lack of the new alarms will not lead to loss of cover, you must check any renewal terms to make sure you are still covered.
Is there any financial help available?
There is some limited financial assistance available through Care and Repair Scotland. That organisation has recently received a further £500,000 in funding to help vulnerable older and disabled people with the costs of the installation.
Generally, to access the financial help, you must own and live in your home. The Council Tax Band must be between Bands A and C. You must be of state pension age and in receipt of Guaranteed Pension Credit. Alternatively, you must have a disability and be in a support group for Employment and Support Allowance.
Where can I find out more information about interlinked smoke alarms?
Click here to find out more information.