The Law in Scotland is changing, from 1st February 2022 you must have interlinked fire alarms in your home and ensure you have a carbon monoxide alarm installed in areas where you have a fuel burning appliance.
What are the new fire alarm regulations in Scotland?
- Smoke Alarms installed in every circulation space on each storey of your home, such as hallways and landings.
- Smoke Alarms installed in the room most frequently used for general daytime living purpose.
- Heat Alarms installed in every kitchen.
- All Smoke and Heat Alarms should be mounted on the ceiling and interlinked.
- In addition, Carbon Monoxide Alarms must be fitted where there is a fuel burning appliance or flue, such as a gas boiler, gas cooker or wood burning stove.
Smoke Alarms in Scotland: What do I need to do?
The new fire alarm legislation in Scotland has been generating more questions than answers, I will look to bring some clarity in this popular Q&A section.
Q… How many smoke alarms do I need?
A… The quantity of smoke alarms required is dependent on the size of your home. In general, one smoke alarm in your main lounge / living room, one smoke alarm in the hallway, with another on each landing of any stairway, plus a heat alarm in the kitchen.
Q… Do smoke alarms need to be hard wired in Scotland?
A… You can install both hard wired or wireless alarms in the home or mixture of the two, so long as they are all interlinked.
Q… Do smoke and heat alarms need to be interlinked?
A… Yes, all smoke alarms and heat alarms must be interlinked
Q… What does interlinked fire alarms mean?
A… If one of the installed alarms activates, all other connected alarms will sound to alert occupants even if you are in a different part of the home from the source of the activation.
Q… Are smoke alarms required in bedrooms?
A… The new legislation states that there is no requirement for smoke alarms in bedrooms, but as a side note, my opinion differs. Think about the amount electronics in today’s bedrooms, look around and you’ll see everything from TVs, Digi Boxes, Alexa Hubs, Mobile Phone Chargers, Games Consoles and Candles. If it’s affordable to you, protect your home and family and have smoke alarms installed in your bedrooms too.
Which Smoke Alarms Should I Buy?
My advice would be to stick by a known brand like AICO, the “European Market Leader in Home Safety”. There are lots of options on the market but AICO have been manufacturing smoke alarms since 1990 and doing it very well.
For Hardwired Alarms look toward AICO’s 3000 range:
- Ei3016 – Optical Smoke Alarm, Mains powered with 10 year lithium backup
- Ei3014 – Heat Alarm, Mains powered with 10 year lithium backup
- Ei3018 – Carbon Monoxide, Mains powered with 10 year lithium backup
For Wireless Alarms, again, I would recommend AICO’s 600 range:
- Ei650RF – RadioLink+ Lithium Battery Optical Smoke Alarm
- Ei603RF– RadioLink+ Lithium Battery Heat Alarm
- Ei208– Lithium Battery Carbon Monoxide Alarm.
Worth noting that AICO also manufacture the Carbon Monoxide Alarms with RadioLink feature, to allow connection to the other alarms in the home but my preference is to leave the Carbon Monoxide Alarm as a standalone device.
Where can I find more information on the new fire alarm regulations for Scotland?
The Gov.Scot website has comprehensive information and is well worth reading.
AICO’s website is a great resource too and gives easy to understand information on the quantities and locations of Smoke Alarms required for your home.
Can I install the Smoke Alarms myself or will I need an Electrician?
If you are comfortable with a little DIY you should be able to follow the instructions on installing and linking the Wireless Alarms, I would recommend you us an Electrician for the Hardwired Alarms. One thing that is noticeable is the number of semiskilled and arguably unskilled people that are offering to install your Smoke Alarms, my advice is to use a local recommended electrician or check with AICO to find their list of approved installers in your area.
How will the new Scottish Smoke Alarm Laws be enforced?
The short answer is, I have no idea. I don’t anticipate any groups of law enforcers knocking on doors, nor do I expect insurance companies to offer any incentive to be compliant but what I would say is to think about the safety aspect for you, your family and your neighbours but also think about safeguarding your possessions and property from the risks of fire. The early warning from smoke alarms makes a huge difference in alerting occupants and saving lives.
Who am I ?
To close I thought I should qualify who I am and why I feel experienced enough to write this blog, giving advice and opinion.
I am Craig Dolier, an Electrical Engineer with over 30 years industry experience, since 2004 my work has been heavily focused on the fire safety industry.
My advice is to read on the regulations through the links I have provided which will go a long way to helping you make an informed decision in choosing the right Smoke Alarms and if required, the right person to help with your install.
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