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Interlinked Fire Alarms

Most of you will be aware that every home in Scotland must have interlinked fire alarms by February 2022.

Below is an abbreviated extract from the mygov.scot website:

You may not always hear the alarm closest to the fire, especially if you’re somewhere else in the house. An interlinked system will alert you immediately.

What you need to do

If you are a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to make sure your home meets the new fire alarms standard.

By February 2022 every home will need to have:

  • 1 smoke alarm in the room you spend most of the day, usually your living room
  • 1 smoke alarm in every circulation space on each storey, such as hallways and landings
  • 1 heat alarm in the kitchen

All smoke and heat alarms should be mounted on the ceiling and be interlinked. Check the manufacturers guidance on each alarm for instructions on where the alarm should be placed.

If you have a carbon-fuelled appliance, like a boiler, fire, heater or flue you must also have a carbon monoxide detector. This does not need to be linked to the fire alarms. Gas cookers and hobs do not need a carbon monoxide detector.

As an example,

If you live in a 1 bedroom flat, you will need 2 smoke alarms and 1 heat alarm. You may also need carbon monoxide alarms. You need:

  • 2 linked smoke alarms:
  • in the hall
  • in the living room
  • 1 linked heat alarm in the kitchen
  • 1 carbon monoxide alarm in any room where you have a carbon-fuelled appliance like a boiler or woodburning

Fireplace If you have an open plan living room and kitchen you only need to have 1 alarm in this space and it should be a heat alarm.

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The types of alarm you’ll need

There are 2 types of interlinked fire alarms that meet the new rules:

Sealed battery alarms – which should be tamper-proof long-life (which can be up to 10 years) batteries. You can fit these

alarms yourself.

Mains-wired alarms - these are cheaper than tamper proof long-life battery alarms, but should be installed by a qualified electrician.

These should be replaced every 10 years.

Both types of alarm are interlinked by radio frequency without the need for WiFi.

If the carbon monoxide alarm is battery operated, it must have a sealed battery for the duration of its lifespan, which may be up to 10 years.

Cost of alarms and what to look out for

The cost for an interlinked system with sealed long-life battery alarms in a two storey house is around £220, if you fit the alarms yourself. There will be an extra cost if you get a tradesperson to fit them for you.

You should:

  • look for a recognised brand
  • use a reputable retailer
  • read online reviews
  • check that each alarm complies with the following standards -

Smoke alarms: BS EN14604:2005

Heat alarms: BS 5446-2:2003

Carbon monoxide detectors: British Kitemark EN 50291-1

Help and advice

You can get more information on the new fire alarms legislation, including answers to the most commonly asked questions at  mygov.scot 

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