Interlinked Fire and Smoke Alarms in Scotland – What You Need to Know

The law in Scotland recently changed so that Scottish homes are required to have interlinked fire and smoke alarms. Many Scottish properties will be needing to make this upgrade before the deadline, so it is important that property owners understand the changes that need to be made.

What Does the New Legislation Say?

The standards were changed to make homes safer. All new homes will be built to this standard, but it is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that the upgrade is made to their properties. Even if they have tenants in situ, the owner is the one who has to make the change and so should arrange a time with their tenants as to when this would be most convenient.

The new alarms needed are:

  • One smoke alarm in the room most frequently used for general living purposes in the daytime
  • One smoke alarm per circulation space per storey, in areas such as hallways and landings
  • One heat alarm per kitchen
  • One carbon monoxide detector per carbon-fuelled appliance or flue

The alarms all need to be interlinked, but the carbon monoxide detector does not need to be.

What is an Interlinked Alarm?

An interlinked alarm will activate when any other in its system does. The logic here is that it will then alert members of the household much more speedily than if just one was to go off.

If a fire was to start downstairs in the kitchen, household members in stories above might not hear the alarm go off as quickly as if they were downstairs. Responding quickly to the fire is key, and can help to save lives and minimise property damage. An interlinked alarm will help with this as it will alert household members almost immediately.

When were the New Changes Introduced?

These new standards were brought into law in Scotland in February 2019. The deadline was extended and is now February 2022.

All homeowners should seek to make the necessary updates to their property by then. All alarms should be compliant with the correct standard, and any carbon monoxide alarms should have the British Kitemark and correct standard.

Enforcement of these changes will lie with local authorities. This will be no doubt be one of the factors added to home safety reports and property evaluations. If you have plans to sell your property or need to get it valued, you should make sure to complete this upgrade.

Let Us Help

CMS Surveyors is here to help you complete this upgrade and become compliant with the change in legislation. Our team is standing by to help you make the upgrades needed to your current fire alarm system so that you are protected and fully compliant with the new law.

No matter whether you are the homeowner or landlord, get in touch with us today. We can guide you through the changes you need to make to your fire alarm systems to be fully compliant with this new law in Scotland.