Smoke alarm rules to apply to all homes in Scotland

Image caption,
A minimum number of fire alarms will be required once the law is updated

All homes in Scotland are set to have a minimum number of smoke alarms after a 30-year-old law is amended.

Changes to the Housing (Scotland) Act are being made in the wake of the Grenfell Tower blaze in which 71 died.

Currently, the most rigorous standards are applied to new-build and private rented housing.

But when the law is updated the requirement for ceiling-mounted smoke and heat alarms will be applied to all homes in Scotland.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: "Fires and fatalities from fires are decreasing but even one death is one too many.

"Scotland already has rigorous standards for smoke and fire alarms developed over time, with the highest standard currently applied to new-build and private rented housing."

'Everyone will benefit'

But he added: "The tragic events at Grenfell Tower last year emphasised how important building and fire safety is, which is why we brought forward our consultation on this issue.

"Now everyone will benefit from the same level of protection, whether you own your home, or rent from a social or private landlord."

In practical terms, the law will require private homes to;

  • have at least one smoke alarm installed in the room most frequently used
  • have at least one smoke alarm in spaces such as hallways and landings
  • have at least one heat alarm in every kitchen
  • have a carbon monoxide detector

In addition, there will be a 10-year age limit for alarms and all alarms will have to be ceiling-mounted, and should be interlinked.

The changes have been announced following a consultation on fire and smoke alarms which was launched after London's Grenfell Tower disaster last June.

Assistant Chief Officer David McGown, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) director of prevention and protection, said: "The presence of working smoke and heat detectors have been proven to significantly reduce casualties and fatalities occurring as a result of fires within the home.

"SFRS therefore welcome and support the next steps from this consultation which will undoubtedly improve home safety for all residents, regardless of tenure."

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