If you currently rent out a property, or you manage rented properties on behalf of a landlord in Scotland, then it’s absolutely vital that you have a working knowledge of the various fire safety equipment that has to be installed in these properties, as well as other fire safety regulations that apply to you.
The legislation surrounding domestic fire safety in Scotland was due to change in February, however, due to COVID-19, these changes have been pushed back to February 2022. Nevertheless, getting a headstart and updating the relevant fire safety equipment in the accommodation that you own is the best way to ensure that your tenants are properly protected from fire risks.
So, to learn more about how to keep your rented properties safe and legally compliant, read this guide.
Fire alarms/smoke detectors
The new standard for fire and smoke alarms states that each home should have the following:
- A smoke alarm in the living room (or any room which is frequently used for daytime living purposes), as well as in circulation spaces on each storey, like hallways and landings
- A heat alarm should be installed in the kitchen or any other area of the home where there are cooking appliances
- All the alarms must be ceiling mounted and interlinked
- A carbon monoxide alarm must be installed in any area of the home where there are fixed combustion appliances, like boilers, open fires or wood burners. This appliance does not need to be linked to the other fire alarms, but it must have a sealed battery for the duration of its operational lifespan, which may be up to 10 years
To ensure that all smoke/heat/monoxide detectors in a building are in proper working order at all times throughout a tenancy period, they should be inspected regularly.
What types of housing will this new legislation cover?
It’s important to note that all types of housing will be covered by this new legislation, so regardless of whether you rent out a house or a flat, this new standard will apply to you.
It will be the responsibility of you, the property owner, to meet the standard and ensure that the relevant equipment has been installed. However, it will be up to local authorities to ensure this standard is enforced.
What types of alarms should I have installed in the accommodation?
When it comes to complying with the new standard, there are two types of alarms that you can choose from. These are:
- Tamper-proof, long-life lithium battery alarms. While, legally, these can be installed by anyone, we would certainly recommend you seek the help of fire safety specialists who have a proper understanding of correct fire alarm positioning.
- Mains-wired alarms. These alarms are cheaper than the aforementioned battery alarms, but they have to be installed by a competent individual in accordance with BS 7671.
Once you have decided which type of system and brand you want to go with, make sure that the packaging on your chosen product clearly displays compliance with BS EN 14604:2005 for smoke alarms and BS 5446-2:2003 for heat alarms. You also want to make sure that the alarms in question are capable of being interlinked.
If you plan on using fire safety specialists like the team here at Asco to have the alarms installed, you can always ask our advice on what brand/type of fire alarm you should go for within the parameters set by the new standard.
Asco are Scotland’s leading fire safety provider. Whether you’re looking for fire alarms, fire extinguishers, or even just some advice on how you could improve the fire safety rating of your building, all you have to do is get in touch. Our knowledgeable team would be happy to answer any questions you might have.