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Briefing

Fire and Smoke Detectors in Scottish Homes

Introduction

This briefing note reminds homeowners in Scotland of the requirement to fit fire and smoke alarms by February 2022. This requirement does not apply to the rest of the UK.

Issue

Following on from the Grenfell fire, it will be a requirement in Scotland that all homes have smoke alarms. This extends a similar requirement that is already in force in relation to the private rented sector.

All homes in Scotland must have interlinked fire alarms installed by February 2022. This requirement was originally planned for February last year; however, was delayed due to Covid. The Housing (Scotland Act) 1987 will be amended to reflect this change.

The specific requirement is that every home must have:

  • 1 x smoke alarm in the living room or room used most (compliant with BS EN14604:2005)
  • 1 x smoke alarm in every hallway or landing on each floor (compliant with BS EN14604:2005)
  • 1 x heat alarm in every kitchen (compliant with BS 5446-2:2003).

The smoke and heat alarms must be interlinked and ceiling mounted. The property owner is responsible for meeting this requirement. In social housing, this issue is being dealt with by local authorities and housing associations.

The alarms can be either sealed battery or mains wired. They can be interlinked by radio-frequency and therefore WiFi is not required. Sealed battery units can be self-fitted, however, mains wired must be fitted by a qualified electrician.

There is an additional requirement for a CO detector in any room with a carbon fuelled appliance (compliant with EN 50291-1). The CO detector does not need to be linked to the smoke alarms, however, if battery operated it must have a sealed battery.

This requirement does not apply to the common parts of flats and shared houses; there are existing provisions in place for these areas.

There is some flexibility in the February deadline in that homeowners can fit the alarms within a ‘reasonable period’ of the deadline.

It is not a specific requirement under house insurance, however individual insurers may require this and therefore it is worth checking.

Action

The following should be actioned:

  • Ensure interlinked smoke alarms are provided in every home.
  • Provide a CO detector in any room with a carbon fuelled appliance.

Further Information