Fire and smoke alarms: changes to the law in Scotland

Correctly fitted and properly maintained fire detectors save lives.

Having fire detectors installed is not just for rented properties.In 2016 the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was called to attend over 11,000 fires which result in over 50 deaths and over 1300 injuries. Many of these deaths could have been prevented if people had has an early warning system in place.

New fire safety legislation within Scotland was introduced on 1st February 2019, this extends the already high standard of protection from fire and carbon monoxide. Private landlords were already required to protect tenants. Now, this new legislation will ensure all households, including social housing, are equally protected.

The legislation in Scotland applying to ALL homeowners and landlords states that all homes must have as a legal requirement

  • Smoke alarms in every circulation space on each storey, such as hallways and landings
  • Smoke alarms installed in the room most frequently used for general daytime living purposes
  • Heat alarms installed in every kitchen
  • All smoke and heat alarms should be interlinked
  • Carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted where there is a fuel burning appliance or a flue
  • Mains powered or 10-year life battery powered alarms

Why has legislation changed?

A Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety was established to review Scotland’s building and fire safety regulatory frameworks following the fire at Grenfell Tower in London. As part of this work, the group agreed that a consultation on fire and smoke alarms, originally planned for later this year, should be prioritised.

What types of housing will be covered by the new standard?

These regulations now cover all properties to include private rented, social housing, new builds, materially altered dwellings, loft conversions, certain building extensions and any work that requires a building warrant. It will be the property owner’s responsibility to meet the new standard.

As outlined by the Scottish Government, “There will be a two-year period for compliance once the regulations are in force, meaning homeowners would have until February 2021. However, installing alarms at the earliest opportunity, will provide improved fire safety in your home.”

Despite this compliance window, it is vital to act as soon as possible. Not only will this safeguard you from prosecution, but it will ensure your tenants, employees and yourself are better protected.

How can Daniel Gardner Electrical Contractor help?

Daniel Gardner Electrical Contractor can design, supply, install,commission and maintain a wide variety of fire detection systems for your home and business, from conventional systems to complex radio systems, we can recommend the right solution for you.

We understand that a fire alarm system is often a significant investment for your home and business and, to help you make the most of your investment, we recommend that you have in place a regular maintenance program. Preventative maintenance and servicing is a must if you are to safeguard your home, business and to ensure compliance with British Standards (BS5839 Part 1).

At Daniel Gardner Electrical Contractor we recommend the occupiers test the system every month through the means of a visual inspection and of the test button on each of the smoke alarms, heat alarms and multi-sensor alarms installed in the premises. A documented test should be carried by a qualified electrician annually to British Standards (BS5839 Part 1).

Call us today on 01334 656378 or email to discuss how we can help or find out more information about our testing services here.

Back to News