A change to the law in Scotland will mean that all homes need to have interlinked fire alarms by February 2022. What does this mean for you? Why is the law changing and what do you need to do? We've got all the answers here.
What is the new law on fire alarms?
In February 2022, Scotland will become the first UK nation to require all homes to have interlinked fire alarms in these places:
- one smoke detector in the living room (or the room you use most)
- one smoke detector in every hallway or landing
- and one heat alarm in the kitchen
Having interlinked alarms means that if one of them goes off, they will all go off. Interlinked fire alarms help to reduce casualties in the event of a house fire because they're more likely to alert everybody in the property straight away. The alarms are linked via radio frequency and therefore they do not need wi-fi.
If you have a carbon-fuelled appliance e.g. a boiler or flue, you will also need to have a carbon monoxide detector. However, this does not need to be interlinked with your fire alarms.
Why is the law changing?
The law on fire alarms in Scotland is changing in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, when a London tower block caught fire leading to 72 deaths.
Without interlinked alarms, a fire could start in one area of the house and trigger a smoke detector, but you may not hear it if you're elsewhere in the house. With interlinked alarms, you will be much more likely to hear the alarm immediately, no matter where in the house you are.
So what do I need to do?
Every home in Scotland must have interlinked fire alarms by February 2022. You'll be responsible for purchasing and installing your alarms if you own your home. If you live in a private rental property, it will be up to your landlord to ensure the property has the right alarms. Landlords have been required to provide these kinds of alarms for some time already. Similarly, if you live in local authority housing, your accommodation should already have interlinked fire alarms. The local authority will be able to enforce the new standards.
If you're a homeowner:
If you own the home you live in, it's up to you to comply with the new law on fire alarms. This means you'll be responsible for covering the cost yourself. Of course, the cost will vary depending on which kind of alarms you choose to install. Some are easy to install yourself while other devices will need to be fitted by an electrician. According to the gov.scot website:
We estimate that the cost for an average three bedroom house which requires three smoke alarms, one heat alarm and one carbon monoxide detector will be around £220. This is based on using the type of alarms that you can install by yourself without the need for an electrician.
Is there any financial help available?
The Scottish government has allocated £500,000 of funding to support older and/or vulnerable people to meet the new safety standards. You will be eligible for financial assistance from Care & Repair Scotland if you meet the following criteria:
- you own the house you live in and
- your home has a Council Tax banding of A-C and
- you have reached State Pension age and receive guaranteed Pension Credit or
- you have a disability and you are in a support group for Employment and Support Allowance
Interlinked Fire Alarms from Lifeline24
Here at Lifeline24, we don't just offer life-saving personal alarms. We also offer smoke detectors, heat alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors. Our alarms comply with all the standards of the new law (BS EN14604:2005 for smoke alarms, BS 5446-2:2003 for heat alarms, and British Kitemark EN 50291-1 for carbon monoxide detectors).
If you already have a Lifeline alarm, you can easily add a fire alarm system to your existing plan. Just call 0800 999 0400 and one of our friendly operators will be happy to help.
If you have a pendant alarm from another provider, it's easy to switch to Lifeline24 and get the fire alarms you need at the same time. Call 0800 999 0400 to discuss your options or click here to find out which Lifeline24 alarm is right for you.
Keeping You Safe at Home
There's an extra benefit to ordering your fire alarms from Lifeline24. We provide interlinked smoke detectors, heat detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors that meet the new standards. But what's more, our fire alarms can also link with your Lifeline24 alarm. This means that if a fire starts in your property, our 24/7 Response Team will also be alerted when the fire alarm goes off. We will be able to contact you and call the fire brigade on your behalf if necessary, giving you and your loved ones more time to evacuate to safety.
We are currently running a special offer on our life-saving smoke detectors. They're available at £49.99 each or two for £75 - giving you a 25% saving! To order your interlinked fire alarms, just give our friendly team a call on 0800 999 0400 today.
Fire Safety Advice
For more fire safety information and advice, read the following articles: