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What are the new rules?
From 1 February 2022, every home in Scotland must have an effective system in place for detecting and warning of smoke, fire and carbon monoxide (CO). This means every property must have interconnected smoke and heat alarms fitted throughout, with a CO alarm required in the relevant room.
Where do I need alarms?
Under the new regulations, at least one smoke or heat alarm should be fitted in your living room, hallway, landing, kitchen and loft conversion. Any rooms you pass through to reach the hallway from the kitchen or living room must also have an alarm fitted, unless the living room or kitchen has its own escape route. CO alarms should be fitted anywhere there is a fuel-burning appliance or a flue.
What properties are affected?
The new regulations apply to ALL homes, homeowners and landlords in Scotland, including social housing, private rentals and domestic dwellings.
What kind of alarms do I need?
Two types of interlinked fire alarms meet the new rules:
- Sealed battery alarms – which should be tamper-proof and long-life, i.e. with batteries lasting up to 10 years.
- Mains-wired alarms - these are cheaper than tamper proof long-life battery alarms, but should be installed by a qualified electrician and replaced every 10 years. Find your nearest SELECT Member here.
Both types of alarm can be interlinked by radio frequency without the need for WiFi. If the CO alarm is battery operated, it must have a sealed battery for the duration of its lifespan, which may be up to 10 years.
How much will it cost?
The Scottish Government
has said the average cost for a self-installed interlinked long-life battery system in a two-storey house is “around £220”. However, it is important to stress that this figure will obviously change if the system is installed by a qualified electrician.
What are the penalties for not complying?
All homes in Scotland must meet the new regulations by 1 February 2022. If you’re not up to standard, your local authority could use its statutory powers to make you carry out any work required.
Will it impact my home insurance if I don’t do it?
Despite some initial confusion, this will depend on the terms and conditions of individual home insurance policies. Homeowners should always contact their insurer to check if the new rules are included in their policy.