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Fire and Smoke Alarms – New Legislation

Posted by Andrew Cutt on February 10, 2020
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Most landlords will know that PRS properties must have satisfactory provision for detecting and warning of fires (if you don’t, where have you been?), what you may not know, is that as of February 2021, the legislation will cover all domestic property, regardless of tenure.

In 2017/18 there were 5,310 reported fires in domestic properties in Scotland, resulting in 44 deaths and 1,113 injuries (Scottish Government – https://www.gov.scot/publications/fire-safety-guidance-private-rented-properties/).

Fires can have a devastating effect on peoples lives, not just on those resident in the property, but potentially those resident in the whole stair and adjacent blocks.  Given the number of flatted properties in Edinburgh, I’m sure you’ll agree this particular piece of legislation is welcome, it gives me peace of mind anyway.

The requirements match those already in place in the Private Sector, i.e. a smoke detector in the living-room, one in each circulated space (hall, landing) and a heat detector in the kitchen.  The devices must be ceiling-mounted and interlinked, however there is no longer a requirement for these to be hard-wired.  Long-life lithium battery alarms are also permitted, with visible expiry dates, and you can also use blue-tooth or WiFi connected devices.  This will save many unsightly holes in the ceiling and/or trunking throughout your home.

Carbon monoxide detectors are also required in rooms where there is a carbon-fuelled appliance (boiler, fires,  stoves or a flue).

For more information on fire and smoke detection legislation, please visit the Scottish Government website –

https://www.gov.scot/publications/fire-and-smoke-alarms-in-scottish-homes/

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