Changes to the law on fire and carbon monoxide detection in Scotland
The law on fire and carbon monoxide detection in Scotland changed on the 1st February 2022. Every Scottish home must have:
- One smoke alarm in the living room or the room used the most
- One smoke alarm in every hallway or landing
- One heat alarm in the kitchen
All smoke and heat alarms should be mounted on the ceiling and be interlinked.
If a household has a carbon-fuelled appliance, such as a boiler, fire, heater or flue, it must also have a carbon monoxide (CO) detector, but this does not need to be linked to the fire alarms.
The property owner is responsible for meeting the standard. The local authority is responsible for monitoring and enforcing the new standard.
Information for home owners and tenants is available on the mygov.scot website here.
A Scottish Government factsheet can be found here. It states:
If specialist alarms are needed – such as for deaf people or Telecare systems – these must be fitted in addition to any smoke, heat and carbon monoxide alarms.
Telecare service provision of heat, smoke and CO detection
In Scotland, smoke detection is provided by every HSCP/local authority telecare service as part of their telecare offer, in accordance with criteria agreed locally. The majority of telecare services also provide heat and CO detection.
Telecare smoke, heat and CO detectors are linked, via a telecare base unit in the home, to call handlers in an alarm receiving centre (ARC). In the event of a smoke, heat or CO detector being triggered, the telecare call handler will determine an appropriate response and co-ordinate arrangements as required. This is a potentially life-saving service for vulnerable people who are unable to respond to an alarm by calling the fire service and/or evacuating the property.
Working with COSLA, the Digital Health and Care policy team and the Scottish Government Better Homes Division and the Local Government Digital Office, TEC telecare is progressing work in the following areas:
- Clarifying telecare service providers’ responsibilities in relation to the new legislation;
- Working with Scottish Fire & Rescue Service (SFRS) to develop telecare service fire safety recommendations, consistent with the new legislation;
- Sharing information for telecare customers and contractors to avoid people removing telecare when interlinked detection is installed;
- Working with the TEC in Housing programme, Care and Repair Scotland, telecare service providers, housing sector and the SFRS to minimise the installation of more than one fire detection system in a premises;
- Exploring future solutions to enable more person-centred fire safety.
Assistance for Home Owners to Install Interlinked Heat and Smoke Detectors and CO Detectors
Telecare smoke, heat and CO detectors are provided in addition to the interlinked systems that home owners must have fitted to meet the new regulations. One of the reasons for this is that currently, telecare smoke and heat detectors cannot be interlinked. So, even if the number of telecare devices installed is in line with the new regulations, the telecare system will not meet the new legislation.
If a telecare service becomes aware of a new or existing customer, who is an owner occupier, and who does not have an interlinked system that meets the regulations, it may be that the person qualifies for free provision of an interlinked system. More information is provided here.