Every home in Scotland must have interlinked fire alarms. Interlinked means if one goes off, they all go off, so you will always hear an alarm wherever you are in your home.
The new law has come about because of the Grenfell fire in London in 2017, and it applies to all Scottish homes.
It is the property owner’s responsibility for meeting the new standard, with any costs to be met by the home owner or landlord, what you need will depend on what you currently have in place and the alarms you choose to install.
What each home needs
- one smoke alarm in the living room or the room you use most
- one smoke alarm in every hallway or landing
- 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 – in any room, you must also have a carbon monoxide detector in that room, but this does not need to be linked to the fire alarms
Help with costs
Older and disabled homeowners on low incomes can get help with costs.
If you are a private tenant, your landlord is responsible.
If you are a council or housing association tenant, work is ongoing to make sure your home meets the new standards.
Two types of alarms
You can use either sealed battery alarms or mains-wired alarms.
Both types of alarm are interlinked by radio frequency and do not need WiFi.
What the alarms must have
If you use battery alarms, they must be sealed tamper-proof units and have long-life lithium batteries, which can be up to 10 years. You may be able to fit these types of alarms yourself and they do not need an electrician.
Mains-wired alarms are cheaper but if you use them, they must be fitted by a qualified electrician and must be replaced every 10 years. You may also need to redecorate after fitting them.
If you also need a carbon monoxide alarm and it is battery-operated, it must have a sealed battery for the duration of its lifespan.
You can find full details and further guidance here.
Photo source: GOV.SCOT