Homeowners urged to install linked heat and smoke alarms

All homeowners will be required to have linked alarms from February next year.

Homeowners urged to install linked heat and smoke alarms iStock

Homeowners are again being urged to install interlinked heat and smoke alarms as part of new fire safety laws which were due to come into effect earlier this year but were delayed.

From February, all homeowners will be required to have linked alarms under the law change as a result of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017.

The new regulations mean every home in Scotland should have a smoke alarm fitted in the living room in order for the property to meet “tolerable standards”, as well as in circulation spaces such as hallways and landings.

They also require a heat alarm to be fitted in every kitchen, with alarms connected so they can be heard throughout the home.

Originally intended to be in place by February 2021, the date was pushed back to February 2022 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and to allow homeowners more time to fit the systems.

Private rented and new-build homes must already meet these standards but they will apply to every home in Scotland from February, regardless of age or tenure.

Housing secretary Shona Robison said: “One death from a house fire is one too many and improving fire safety remains our utmost priority.

“In February Scotland will become the first UK nation to require every home to have interlinked fire alarms, which significantly reduce the risk of injury or death.

“If there is a fire in one room it will set off alarms throughout the property, giving residents more time to escape.

“Homeowners are generally responsible for paying for works to protect their property, but we know some may not be able to meet the cost of fitting these alarms.

“That is why we are providing £500,000 to help disabled and older people, on top of the £1m we have already provided to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to install alarms in owner-occupied homes identified as being at highest risk.”

The Scottish Government estimates the cost for an average three-bedroom house which requires three smoke alarms, one heat alarm and one carbon monoxide detector at around £220 – based on using the type of alarms that can be installed by a homeowner without needing an electrician.

A new campaign will launch on Thursday with TV, radio and digital adverts reminding people of the changes.

Robinson will launch the campaign at Blackness Road Fire Station in Dundee with Alasdair Perry, the fire service’s head of prevention and protection.

He said: “Having the earliest possible warning of a fire in the home can and has saved lives and property.

“Having interlinked alarms installed will allow everyone anywhere in the house to take action as quickly as possible.

“The Scottish Government has provided financial support to our home fire safety visit programme, which will allow us to fit to the new standard in the homes of those identified through our robust criteria as being at higher risk.

“However, if we go to any property that has no detection, we will still provide a battery-operated stand-alone smoke detector and advise the occupant about the new standard for the fire and smoke alarms required by the legislation in all Scottish homes.”

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