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What are the fire alarm laws in Scotland?

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As of February 2022, the law in Scotland regarding fire alarms has changed. Every property must now meet the ‘Tolerable Standard.’ But what does this mean for you and what changes must you make to your home? We understand that life can be hectic, and ensuring your residence is compliant may have slipped to the bottom of your to-do list. Not to worry, the team at ASCO has you covered! This article will help you understand what you need to do to ensure your home is up to standard.

a fire alarm on wall in scotland

I’m a homeowner

If you’re a homeowner, then you are liable for ensuring that your property complies with new laws. The biggest change is that all homes must now have interlinked alarms which are mounted to the ceiling. This means that, no matter where on your property a fire alarm has sounded, the remaining alarms will be triggered. You may not always hear an alarm if you’re in a different room, so this will hugely benefit your personal safety by providing a more effective warning system.

You must now also have:

  • One smoke alarm in a commonly used area, typically your living room.
  • One smoke alarm in the circulation space of each floor, such as your hallway.
  • A heat alarm in your kitchen.

For example, if you live in a two-storey, two-bedroom home, you should have three smoke detectors and one heat alarm. This includes:

  • One smoke alarm in a living room or common area.
  • One smoke alarm in the downstairs hallway.
  • One smoke alarm in the upstairs landing.
  • A heat alarm for the kitchen.

If you lived in a two-bedroom flat, you would need one less smoke alarm as your property only consists of a single floor.

Each home must now also be fitted with a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where there is a carbon-fuelled appliance, such as a boiler.

I’m renting

If you’re renting property, then all of the above rules regarding both an interlinked fire alarm system and carbon monoxide alarms still apply. This is your landlord’s responsibility to install, however you are accountable for checking your home is up to standard. If you have any concerns, then it is vital you arrange a fire safety inspection with your landlord by contacting them and detailing why you believe your home is unsafe. If your landlord is non-compliant with this request, then you should contact your local environmental health department and explain the situation.

I’ve just bought a new build property

If your new build property was completed after 2010, then it should already comply with these standards. However, if you are concerned about the fire safety of your home, then you should take action and investigate. For the first few years, it is usually the responsibility of your builder or developer to fix any issues with your home. Therefore, if you’re worried about fire safety, you should contact them and ask them to arrange a fire safety survey.

What fire alarm should I get?

There are two types of interlinked fire alarms which comply with new laws. Neither alarm requires WiFi as they are interlinked using radio frequency. These are:

  • Sealed battery alarms – you can fit these yourself, however they must be a sealed, tamper-proof unit.
  • Mains wired alarms – these have a life span of 10 years and must be fitted by a qualified installer.

At ASCO, we supply and install a variety of fire alarm systems which fully comply with new Scottish Law. We are trusted fire safety protection specialists across the Edinburgh, Glasgow and Midlothian region. If you’d like to discuss your new fire alarm system or book an installation, then please contact our friendly team and we will be more than happy to assist you.

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