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Fire alarm standard extended to February 2022

Friday 18 December 2020

The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government Committee has agreed to postpone the new regulations for fire and smoke alarm regulations which require all homes in Scotland to have interlinked smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for 12 months, following criticism of the timing of implementation due to the impact of Coronavirus.

The new fire alarm safety standard, which currently applies to private rented property and all new-builds in Scotland, was to be extended to all homes next February. Work to extend the activity to the social housing sector is said to be well underway already, but extending this work to privately owned residences will not now be compulsory for another year.

The improved standards, which apply to every home in Scotland, must have a smoke alarm fitted in the living room or lounge, and in circulation spaces such as hallways and landings. The changes also mean every kitchen must have a heat alarm, and the alarms will have to be interlinked so they can be heard throughout the property. There must also be a carbon monoxide alarm where there are fixed combustion appliances. 

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I welcome the Parliament’s decision to postpone the implementation of the new standard to February 2022. This will allow more time for people to make changes to meet the standard. We will ensure people are supported with the right information and advice and will keep all of this under close review. I will keep parliament updated of developments.

The Scottish Government is committed to improving fire safety. We want to ensure the same level of protection is in place regardless of whether you own your home or rent from a social or private landlord. Although the postponement will give people a further twelve months to install the required alarms, I hope that most people will recognise its safety benefits and take action much sooner.

Kevin Stewart, Housing Minister

Funding for social landlords

The Scottish Government has made more than £15 million of loan funding available for social landlords and also provided in the region of £1 million to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to enable them to install alarms during their home fire safety visits to owner-occupied properties assessed to be at high risk from fire.

Types of fire alarms

Homeowners can install tamper-proof long-life lithium battery alarms themselves. Mains-wired alarms are also available and are generally cheaper than the tamper-proof long-life battery alarms but should be installed by a qualified electrician. Both types of alarms are widely available in general hardware outlets and online.