New rules require all homes in Scotland to have interlinked fire alarms, which communicate with each other so that a fire in one room sets off alarms throughout the property, giving people more time to escape and call emergency services.
Homeowners will not be penalised if they haven’t had the alarms installed in time but are encouraged to do so.
The cost for an interlinked system with sealed long-life battery alarms in a two storey house is around £220, if you fit the alarms yourself. There will be an extra cost if you get a tradesperson to fit them for you.
The requirements come into effect on Tuesday 1 February.
To be eligible for support from Care & Repair Scotland, you must live and own your home that has a Council Tax banding of A-C. You must also either be of state pension age and in receipt of guaranteed Pension Credit, or have a disability and be in a support group for Employment and Support Allowance.
Tenants should contact their landlords if they do not have interlinked alarms in their homes.
The Association of British Insurers has confirmed that its members are aware of the new regulations coming into force and are unlikely to invalidate a home insurance claim for existing customers who haven’t yet complied with the new law in Scotland. Anyone who is unclear about their policy should speak to their insurer.
There are two different types of interlinked alarms:
- Sealed long-life battery alarms, which you can fit yourself.
- Mains wired alarms, which should be installed by a qualified electrician.
Both meet the new fire safety standard. And both are linked by radiofrequency without the need for WiFi.
Every home needs:
- 1 smoke alarm in the room where you spend most of the day (usually the living room)
- 1 smoke alarm on every floor, either in the hallway or on the landing
- 1 heat detector in the kitchen
If your home has a carbon fuelled appliance like a boiler, heater, or flue, you will also need a separate carbon monoxide detector. These do not have to be linked to the other alarms.
If you are concerned about cold callers or about the information given by a tradesperson, contact Trading Standards Scotland on 0808 164 6000
If you are older or disabled you may qualify for assistance from your local Care and Repair service. Details of the local offices are available here: