Yes all homes will require mains powered smoke alarms in Scotland by Feb 2021
This info may have gone under the radar for most homeowners but from February 2021 there will be changes to the law. All homes will require mains powered smoke alarms in Scotland and must meets the LD2 requirements and it’s not just for rental properties.
See the official document here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/fire-and-smoke-alarms-in-scottish-homes/
So what does this mean for homeowners?
You will have to install interlinked smoke alarms that meet the LD2 requirements.
Fire angel have an easy to follow guide for all smoke alarm categories, follow this link: Fireangel’s smoke alarm guide and look for the LD2 section.
These requirements will include the need for a smoke alarm in the hall and landings of each floor in your property and in your main living space, a heat alarm in your kitchen and a carbon monoxide alarm wherever you have a gas burning appliance.
The guidance above is a generalisation given by the gov.scot website but it covers most scenarios, although there are more rules to understand regarding location, placement and distance from habitable rooms and bedrooms.
Do I have to install before Feb 2021?
It’s always best to follow the guidelines set out (although there will not be anyone coming round to randomly inspect your property). Not having smoke alarms may have a knock on effect with your insurance company, so it’s best to get it done ASAP.
However, if you decide to sell your property and your smoke alarms do not meet the LD2 requirements this will be highlighted in your home report after Feb 2021.
In my experience most homes do not meet the LD2 requirements. This means there may be a high demand for smoke alarm installations come February. If you do need to install in a hurry e.g. to meet a move date you may find it difficult to find an available electrician.
Do the alarms have to be mains powered?
There is an exception. If you can’t install mains powered smoke alarms, (as installation typically requires some amount of redecoration due to the installation of cables), you can install wireless connected smoke alarms with tamper proof batteries.
These alarms have a sealed battery which cannot be removed and signal other alarms in the system wirelessly so no need for any new cables at all.
The downside is these alarms are typically far more expensive than standard mains powered smoke alarms. They typically range between £65-£85 each, (at date of writing). So you will need to weigh up the benefits verses price and remember when it comes to replacing them you will more than likely need to pay the premium again.
What does interlinked mean?
Interlinked refers to the smoke alarms being connected together. This can be done either wirelessly or with a physical cable connecting each smoke alarm together.
Why do they have to be connected?
This ensures that if one smoke alarm is set off all the alarms sound together making sure that you are alerted to an incident wherever you are in your property.
Which solution is best for you?
There are still a lot of choices to make when it comes to installing an appropriate smoke alarm system. Why not contact us now and get a free quote for your new smoke alarms or any other electrical installation needed.