Smoke alarm Scotland: New law requiring Scots to have interlinked fire alarm system comes into force in February

The new law requiring every household in Scotland to have an interlinked smoke alarm system installed has now come into force.

It comes as fears to install the system in time have been voiced across the country.

However, the Scottish government has said people will not be prosecuted if they need more time to install the alarms.

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According to the new law, every home must have one smoke alarm installed in the room most frequently used for general daytime living purposes, one smoke alarm in every circulation space on each storey, such as hallways and landings, and one heat alarm installed in every kitchen.

Scotland's new smoke alarm law comes into place today.Scotland's new smoke alarm law comes into place today.
Scotland's new smoke alarm law comes into place today.

All alarms must be ceiling mounted and interlinked.

Where there is a carbon-fuelled appliance such as boilers, fires - including open fires - and heaters or a flue, a carbon monoxide detector is also required. Yet this does not need to be interlinked to the fire alarm system.

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It will be the property owner's responsibility to pay for and install the alarms.

It is estimated that for an average three-bedroom house, which requires three smoke alarms, one heat alarm and one carbon monoxide detector, will be about £220.

The legislation was introduced in 2019 following the Grenfell disaster yet was delayed until 2022 due to the pandemic.

Opposition parties have called for the scheme to be delayed and said the new legislation had not been properly publicised.

Scottish ministers have rejected the calls and given more money to help vulnerable people install the alarms.

The Scottish Conservatives criticised the move as “yet another knee-jerk reaction” to “another blunder by the SNP Government” who have failed to adequately publicise the changes.

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Scottish Conservative Shadow Housing Secretary Miles Briggs MSP said: “The SNP expect households to comply with this new law on Tuesday yet have done nothing to monitor the progress of this scheme, or research how many homes are still falling short.

“Households have been treated completely unfairly and are having to frantically pick up the pieces due to the unattainable position they have been left in by the Scottish Government.

“Rather than trying to cover the cracks, the SNP should postpone this scheme and produce a thorough plan to ensure households are able to meet the requirements.”

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