Scotland is soon to become the first UK nation to require every home to have interlinked fire and smoke alarms regardless of tenure.
This legislative change to the Tolerable Standard comes into force on 1st February 2022 and will apply to all households, both in the private and social housing sectors. Meeting the new standard will be property owners and landlords’ responsibility.
What is required?
By February 2022 every home in Scotland must have:
- a smoke alarm on every storey including hallways and landings
- a smoke alarm in the part of the property most frequently used such as living room
- a heat alarm in the kitchen
- a carbon monoxide detector in the room where there is a fuel burning appliance (like boilers, fires, heaters and stoves) or a flue.
All smoke and heat alarms must be mounted on the ceiling and interlinked. They can be either mains-powered with battery back-up, or battery-powered with a tamper-proof long-life lithium battery.
Carbon monoxide detectors do not need to be linked to the fire alarms.
Relevant British Standards
Homeowners and landlords need to ensure that each alarm complies with relevant product standards:
- smoke alarms: BS EN 14604:2005
- heat alarms: BS EN 5446-2:2003
- carbon monoxide detector: British Kitemark EN 50291-1.
The Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS) advises property owners and landlords to also ensure that all alarms are labelled and marked with the manufacture’s name and address, batch code/date of manufacture, model number and type, and relevant standard number for the type of alarm installed.
If a property is already fitted with fire and smoke alarms but doesn’t meet the new requirements, it is vital to have the existing system expanded with wireless interconnection.
SCOTSS Chair, Graeme Paton, says: “This is a major change to what is required in terms of fire and CO detection in dwellings and we must get the message across that all new and existing systems have to be wholly compliant.”
He also sends a warning: “There is a risk of scammers taking advantage of this situation so we would also urge householders to only use genuine SELECT members or local firms that are approved by Trading Standards to do this work.”
Technical Services Director at SELECT, Bob Cairne, adds: “The clock is ticking. February will be upon us before we know it and it is of the utmost importance that both householders and those installing the alarms clearly understand what is required for compliance.
“SCOTSS has rightly warned consumers of the danger that unscrupulous people might try to take advantage of those who are unsure about how to comply and about the need to use trusted sources of information.
“For mains-powered alarms or where householders need help to install battery-powered alarms, we would ask that they use a qualified electrician.”