Scottish Fire Safety Regulations 2022: What You Need to Know

Scottish Fire Safety Regulations 2022: What You Need to Know

Did you know the law around fire safety in your home is changing in Scotland? By February 2022, all Scottish homes are legally required to have interlinked fire alarms to protect families against preventable fire and smoke mortalities.

Driven by the Grenfell disaster of 2017, which tragically claimed the lives of 72 people, this new legislation will come into force in only a few short months, affecting homeowners, private renters and landlords alike across the entire nation.

To ensure you’re clued up on the new government policy before the deadline hits, we’ve compiled the answers to all your questions, including what’s changing, who’s responsible for fitting out your property, what type of alarms you’ll need, estimated costs and consequences. 

Read on to discover everything you need to know about new fire and smoke alarm changes.

What’s Changing?

By February 2022, every home in Scotland must have:

  • One smoke alarm in the living room (or the room you use the most)
  • One smoke alarm in every hallway or landing
  • One heat alarm in the kitchen

The most important aspect of this new legislation is that all alarms must be interlinked. So, if one alarm goes off, they all will, meaning you’ll quickly hear the warning no matter where you are in your home. 

Your fire alarms must be mounted on the ceiling to guarantee you’re meeting the new requirements. 

For properties with a carbon-fuelled appliance (such as a boiler, fire or heater) in your home, you’re also required to install a carbon monoxide detector in that room. However, your carbon monoxide detector doesn’t need to link to your other alarms.

Who’s Affected?

Every home in Scotland is affected by the incoming legislation. So, whether you live in a home you own, rent through an estate agent or let your property out, you’ll need to know who’s responsible for implementing the upcoming changes.

Home Owners and Landlords

For homeowners and landlords, the cost associated with installing your property’s new alarm system will fall to you. However, your local council has considerable discretionary powers available and can often provide support through advice or financial help. So if you’re struggling to meet the new standards, contact your local authority.

If you’re an older and/or disabled homeowner with a low income, contact the Care and Repair Service for free advice on the assistance open to you. The Care and Repair services offer expert personal, financial and technical guidance for people facing challenges repairing, upgrading or modifying their homes to suit their needs.

Local Authority or Housing Association Tenants

The Scottish Government has invested over £15m to guarantee social tenants are safe in their homes, including meeting the new legislation coming February 2022. According to the Scottish Government, social landlords (local authority and housing association landlords) are currently working to ensure the upcoming standards are met in time. If you have any questions, speak to your local authority.

For shared housing association properties, it is generally your responsibility as a portion owner to meet the changing standards of your property. However, if you’re unsure, check your occupancy agreement for clarification.

Private Renters

For private renters, the costs for the upcoming changes will be the responsibility of your landlord. The law requires that your landlord meet the changing standards before February 2022 — if you believe your landlord is failing to comply, you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber).

What Type of Alarm Do I Need?

To meet the upcoming standards, you can choose either sealed battery alarms or mains-wired alarms. Both types of alarm are interlinked by radio frequency and do not need WiFi to work.

You can install battery alarms yourself. However, you must ensure they are sealed, tamper-proof units with long-life lithium batteries.

If you choose mains-wired alarms, you must have a qualified electrician install the units in your home. This option is, on average, cheaper. However, they must be replaced every 10 years and often require redecorating post-installation.

You need to check that each alarm complies with the following standards:

  • smoke alarms — BS EN14604:2005
  • heat alarms — BS 5446-2:2003
  • carbon monoxide detector — British Kitemark EN 50291-1

All smoke and heat alarms should be interlinked and mounted on the ceiling.

As previously mentioned, if you have a carbon-fuelled appliance (such as a boiler, fire, heater or flue), you must also have a carbon monoxide detector in that room — however, this does not need to be linked to the fire alarms.

How Much Will it Cost?

The costs of your new fire alarm system will vary depending on the type of alarms you choose, as well as the size of your property. According to the Scottish Government, the estimated cost for an average three-bedroom house installing three battery-powered smoke alarms, one heat alarm, and one carbon monoxide detector is around £220. For mains-powered alarms, the cost may be considerably different and depend on the provider you choose for installation.

What Happens if I Miss the Deadline?

For many homeowners, ensuring your property complies with local safety standards is crucial not just for peace of mind but also for increased property value.

For those who don’t meet the February 2022 deadline, you may be subjected to compliance checks by your local authority. Moreover, you may face challenges or potential legal action if you try to rent your property out in future without meeting the necessary fire safety regulations first. Lastly, failure to install up-to-date alarms could result in issues with your home insurance. 

So, don’t delay — install your interlinked fire alarms today. Your property (and your future self) will thank you.

See How Your Home Shapes Up, with a Free Valuation with Beveridge Philp & Ross

Safety standards like the upcoming fire regulation changes of February 2022 can make a big difference to how much your home is worth. Find out how your home shapes up and get more for your money with a free home valuation from Beveridge Philp & Ross. Contact our team of expert estate agents today by calling us on 0131 554 6244 or fill in our contact form.