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Fire and Smoke Alarms – The Law in Scotland

The law setting out tolerable standards for homes in Scotland is changing. From 1st February 2022 each home in Scotland, whether privately owned or rented, must be fitted with interlinked fire alarms. The changes are as a result of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017.

Each home must be fitted with:-

  • a smoke alarm in the living room, or the room you use the most
  • a smoke alarm in every hall way or landing
  • a heat alarm in the kitchen.

Alarms must be ceiling mounted and interlinked, which means that if one goes off, they all go off, so you will hear the alarm wherever you are in the house. The alarms are linked by radio frequency, so a WiFi connection is not necessary. Either battery operated or mains wired alarms are suitable, provided they comply with the Governments safety standards – further details can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/fire-and-smoke-alarms-in-scottish-homes/.

In addition, in rooms where there is a carbon fuelled appliance, such as an open fire or stove, you are required to install a carbon monoxide detector. It is not necessary to interlink the carbon monoxide detector to the smoke alarms in the rest of the house.

Responsibility for complying with the new rules rests with each individual home owner, or landlord. The Scottish Government estimates that the average cost of fitting alarms to a 3 bedroomed property will be £220 – this is based on alarms which you can fit yourself, without the need for an electrician. Some financial assistance may be available to disabled homeowners or those on low incomes.

Landlords can breathe a sigh of relief for once, as the new rules simply extend the current requirements imposed on the private rented sector, to housing tenure of all types. Private landlords should, therefore, already be complying with the new legislation.

For home owners currently marketing their property, or thinking of doing so in the future, compliance checks will form part of the necessary Home Report.

For further information on how the changes may affect you, please contact our Property Team.

Pamela Bursill

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