Smoke Alarms in Scotland 2022 – Your Questions Answered
On the back of the tragic Grenfell Fire in London in 2017, the Scottish Government set out plans to introduce new changes to the laws surrounding fire and smoke alarms.
Set to be introduced in February 2022, the new laws state that all Scottish homes must have interlinked alarms. This means that when one alarm is set off, all alarms go off too, meaning you will hear the alarm regardless of where you are in the property.
Who will have to follow these new standards?
As of February 2022, all homes in Scotland must comply with the new regulations set out by the Scottish Government. These standards are being introduced in order to improve the safety of homes and prevent future fires from happening, so it is in the best interest of everyone in Scotland to make sure their home complies.
The responsibility to have these alarms fitted belongs to homeowners and landlords.
How many alarms are required to meet the new standards?
In order to meet the new standards, each household must have the following alarms in place:
- One smoke alarm fitted in the most frequently used room of the house, e.g living room
- One smoke alarm fitted in every landing or hallway
- One heat alarm installed in the kitchen area – if the living room and kitchen are combined or adjoining then one multi-sensor alarm can be installed.
What type of smoke alarm is required to be used?
There are two types of alarms that are acceptable to be used – tamper proof lithium battery alarms or mains-wired alarms with a battery back-up. Whichever type of alarm you choose, they must be interlinked either by radio frequency or a hardwired cable.
Do I need a registered electrician to fit a smoke alarm?
If you opt to install the tamper proof lithium battery detectors then they do not need to be installed by an electrician but if you choose to install mains wired detectors then they should be installed by a qualified electrician.
Are there any other specifications in the new standard that we should know about?
All smoke and fire alarms that you have fitted at home must be mounted on the ceiling and interlinked with each other. Additionally, a carbon monoxide detector must be installed in any room that has a carbon fuelled appliance – e.g boiler, fire or heater. Any carbon monoxide detector does not need to be linked to the smoke/fire alarms.
What do I do if my current smoke alarms are not interlinked?
Seek advice from a qualified electrician. If your existing detectors are not interlinked then it is sometimes possible to install a radio frequency base to your existing detectors to interlink them.
Equally, if you have a mains wired alarm in your hallway but you need to install a detector in your lounge and kitchen but don’t want the upheaval/damage of running cables through your ceilings then it is possible to have a hybrid system designed which combines mains wired detectors with battery detectors. All that is required in this instance is for an electrician to install a radio link base to the mains wired detector and then pair it with the new battery detectors.