Advice issued to Scots on smoke alarm law change
Scottish homeowners and landlords have been advised over the potential implications of new regulations on interlinked smoke alarms due to come into place next week.
From Tuesday, February 1, all homes in Scotland will be subject to a new set of standards for fire safety and smoke alarms.
It will require a smoke alarm to be installed in the room used most for daytime living, for example in a living room.
Others will have to be placed in “circulation spaces” like hallways or landings on every storey of the property, and all smoke alarms must be interlinked and ceiling-mounted.
A heat alarm must also be installed in every kitchen, and a carbon monoxide detector should be placed in any property where there is a carbon-fuelled appliance like a boiler, fire or heater.
The legislation was originally due to come into force in 2021, however it was delayed by the Scottish Government because of the Covid pandemic.
Last week, housing secretary Shona Robison said the regulations are “designed to protect and save lives” and there will be “no penalties for non-compliance”, stressing that people will not face penalties “if they need more time”.
Advice Direct Scotland, which runs the national consumer advice service consumeradvice.scot, has issued guidance to homeowners and landlords who are responsible for ensuring the new standards are met.
The organisation warned that if properties fail to meet the conditions it could impact upon the property’s home report when it comes to be sold, and in some extreme cases home insurance policies could become void.
consumeradvice.scot have also created short FAQ video guides to the new legislation, available here.
Anyone in Scotland who wants advice on consumer issues can contact consumeradvice.scot for free on 0808 164 6000. Specialist advisers are available from 9am to 5pm, Monday-Friday.
Colin Mathieson, spokesperson for Advice Direct Scotland, said: “The new regulations will come into effect next week following a 12-month delay.
“It will be for the property owner, such as the owner occupier or the landlord, to ensure these standards are met and this will include paying the costs of purchasing and installing any new equipment.
“We have put together a list of frequently asked questions for Scots, as well as information videos to help those required to make the necessary changes. It is important that everyone in Scotland checks if their property complies, as there is a potential impact on insurance policies, but the government has also made clear there will be no penalties for non-compliance.”