Fire safety for landlords, tenants & home owners.
Fire safety for landlords, tenants & home owners is about to change is Scotland. The law is changing and every home in Scotland must have interlinked fire alarms by February 2022.
Being interlinked means if one alarm goes off, they all go off. You may not always hear the alarm closest to the fire, especially if you’re somewhere else in the house. An interlinked system will alert you immediately.
What you need to do
If you are a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to make sure your home meets the new fire alarms standard.
By February 2022 every home will need to have:
- one smoke alarm in the room you spend most of the day, usually your living room
- one smoke alarm in every circulation space on each storey, such as hallways and landings
- one heat alarm in the kitchen
All smoke and heat alarms should be mounted on the ceiling and be interlinked.
If you have a carbon-fuelled appliance, like a boiler, fire, heater or flue you must also have a carbon monoxide detector. This does not need to be linked to the fire alarms.
If you live in a one bedroom flat, you will need two smoke alarms and one heat alarm.
A 3 bedroom, 2 storey house will need 3 smoke alarms and one heat alarm.
Whatever the size your home, if you have a carbon fuelled appliance like a boiler, you will also need a carbon monoxide detector.
The types of alarm you’ll need
There are two types of interlinked fire alarms that meet the new rules:
- sealed battery alarms – which should be tamper-proof long-life (which can be up to 10 years) batteries. You can fit these alarms yourself.
- mains-wired alarms – these are cheaper than tamper proof long-life battery alarms, but should be installed by a qualified electrician. These should be replaced every 10 years.
Both types of alarm are interlinked by radio frequency without the need for WiFi.
If the carbon monoxide alarm is battery operated, it must have a sealed battery for the duration of its lifespan, which may be up to 10 years.
Cost of alarms and what to look out for
The cost for an interlinked system with sealed long-life battery alarms in a two storey house is around £220, if you fit the alarms yourself. There will be an extra cost if you get a tradesperson to fit them for you.
- look for a recognised brand
- use a reputable retailer
- read online reviews
- check that each alarm complies with the following standards –
- Smoke alarms: BS EN14604:2005
- Heat alarms: BS 5446-2:2003
- Carbon monoxide detectors: British Kitemark EN 50291-1
Will your home insurance be affected?
This depends on the terms and conditions of your home insurance policy. Contact your insurer to check if the new fire alarms requirements are included in your policy.
What you should do with your old alarms
Most smoke and heat alarms can be recycled, either at home in your recycling bin or at any recycling centre.
If you are a tenant in rented accommodation
Check what you need to do if you rent through a Private Landlord or through a Local Housing Association, It’s important to make sure your home is fire safe.
If you or your landlord don’t take the right steps to protect your home, there’s a greater chance a fire could start.