Many Scottish residents have concerns surrounding the new legislative changes on fire safety and are wondering how they might be affected. The government has made the decision to mandate the use of interlinked smoke and heat alarms in homes following some worrying findings about the state of fire safety across the UK.
It’s important to understand these changes so that you can properly prepare yourself and bring your home into compliance before the deadline in February. In this article, we cover the key points of concern in the legislation and discuss how it affects you.
What the law states:
Here’s what the new legislation states your home must have:
- 1 smoke alarm in the living room or the room you use most.
- 1 smoke alarm in every hallway or landing area.
- 1 heat alarm in the kitchen.
- 1 CO2 detector in each room where there is a fuel-burning appliance such as a gas boiler or fire.
These must also be:
- Interlinked, meaning if one goes off they all go off
- Fitted with lithium, long-life batteries that last up to 10 years.
- Mains-wired alarms that are to be replaced every 10 years.
The alarms you buy must also comply with the following standards:
- Smoke alarms: BS EN14604:2005
- Heat alarms: BS 5446-2:2003
- Carbon monoxide detector: British Kitemark EN 50291-1
Failure to comply with these standards will result in penalties being imposed, so it’s advisable to get started today if you haven’t already. Battery powered interlinked smoke alarms and heat alarms are typically the preferred option, as you can install these yourself without hiring an electrician.
Why do I need these different types of alarms?
Different types of alarms protect you and your property from different types of threats. For example, heat alarms work by detecting rises in temperature that are attributed to fires. They are designed for kitchens and other areas that may be exposed to smoke but not necessarily fire, preventing them from sounding falsely.
Smoke alarms also detect fires, but they focus on smoke instead of heat. This makes them ideal for hallways and other circulation areas, in addition to living rooms and bedrooms. They pick up tiny particles of smoke in the air, even those released by low-burning fires, such as those caused by overheated wiring.
Combined, these two alarm types provide you with a significant level of protection from fires.
The third type of alarm that the government has mentioned in the legislation is the carbon monoxide detector, but these are only required if your house contains a fuel-burning appliance. Carbon monoxide detectors can sense this invisible and odorless gas and provide an early warning.
Because carbon monoxide is entirely undetectable to human senses, and at the same time extremely toxic, these alarms are imperative for those who need them.
The law also mandates that these alarms be interlinked, which means they can communicate with each other and sound simultaneously in the event of a fire. If you would like some help getting set up with interlinked heat and smoke alarms, give us a call today.