Fire Safety for Home Owners
As of February 2022, Scotland will become the first nation in the UK where every house will be required to have interlinked smoke alarms, if one goes off they all go off. It is thought the installation of these alarms will greatly reduce the risk of casualties.
It will be the responsibility of every homeowner to ensure the new standards are met within their property. Whilst in the private rental sector, it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure the alarms meet the new requirements. Currently, private rented properties and new-build properties must already meet these standards.
The new legislation has come into force following the devastating Grenfell Tower fire in London in 2017.
Each property will be required to have a smoke alarm in the living room or the room you use most along with an alarm in every hall or landing together with a heat detector in the kitchen.
If you have a Carbon fuelled appliance, like a boiler, heater or fire you will be required to have a Carbon Monoxide detector, in the room although this does not need to be linked to the other alarms.
Alarms can either by powered by a long-life sealed battery or wired to the mains. Both are interlinked by radio frequency and do not require Wi-Fi
Both types of alarms are also easily available online or in store and can be fitted yourself or in the case of the mains wired alarm, by a qualified electrician.
All batteries must meet the following safety standard
smoke alarms BS EN14604:2005
heat alarms BS 5446-2:2003
carbon monoxide detector British Kitemark EN 50291-1
If you are only installing battery operated alarms a building warrant is not required.
If you install a mains-powered system rather than sealed battery alarms, this may require a building warrant to be obtained from your local authority verifier before any work starts. For example, if your property is a one or two storey house, a building warrant is not required for mains operated alarms, but the installation must still comply with the building regulations.
The cost of installing the battery powered system to an average 3-bedroom property is approximately £220 and it is understood that funding may be available for elderly, disabled or low-income households.
It is understood compliance of the new legislation will eventually form part of the Home Report, which is required before marketing a property, however the legislation will also form part of the Conveyancing which is carried out by your Solicitor.
You may also want to check with your Home Insurance provider as to what they require and that you have adequate cover in place.
More information can be found on the Scottish government website.