Amendments to a 30 year old Scottish law will see significant changes to the fire and smoke alarm regulations that will benefit everyone, regardless of tenure.

The existing standards for fire and smoke alarms in Scotland are already high in the private rented sector and now they are going to be extended to all homes to guarantee equal level of protection.

“Fires and fatalities from fires are decreasing but even one death is one too many.” (Housing minister, Kevin Stewart)

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Same rules for everyone

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, a consultation was launched to see what more could be done to ensure better security.

Kevin Stewart said: “The tragic events at Grenfell Tower last year emphasised how important building and fire safety is, which is why we brought forward our consultation on this issue.”

He continued: “Scotland already has rigorous standards for smoke and fire alarms developed over time, with the highest standard currently applied to new-build and private rented housing. Now everyone will benefit from the same level of protection, whether you own your home, or rent from a social or private landlord.”

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Improved home safety

The changes to The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 will include the following requirements:

  • At least one smoke alarm in the room most frequently used
  • At least one smoke alarm in circulation spaces such as hallways and landings
  • At least one heat alarm in every kitchen
  • A carbon monoxide detector.

All alarms should be ceiling mounted and interlinked. In addition to this, a maximum age of 10 years will apply to all alarms.

ACO David McGown, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) director of prevention and protection, said: “The presence of working smoke and heat detectors have been proven to significantly reduce casualties and fatalities occurring as a result of fires within the home. SFRS therefore welcome and support the next steps from this consultation which will undoubtedly improve home safety for all residents, regardless of tenure.”