Act now to ensure you comply with new fire and smoke detector regulations

29/03/2019 09:31:40

Property sellers have been warned they could face difficulties if they fail to implement new regulations governing fire and smoke detectors.

From February 1, 2021 standards that have long applied to the private rented sector will cover all homes, regardless of the property tenure.

The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (Tolerable Standard) (Extension of Criteria) Order 2019, obliges all homeowners to fit tamper proof, long-life lithium battery alarms or mains-operated alarms with battery backup. Regardless of the type installed, all smoke and heat detectors must be interlinked.

The standards have been introduced following the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017 and the Scottish Government’s subsequent consultation on improving fire safety.

In December 2017, NAEA Property mark and ARLA Property mark responded to a ministers’ consultation on fire and smoke alarms in Scottish homes.

They argued that standards already existing in the private rented sector should be replicated across all tenures, and that sealed battery-operated alarms should be allowed in meeting the requirements.

Homeowners have two years to comply with the rules which require that:

  • A smoke alarm should be installed in the room used most for general daytime living, such as the living room or lounge;
  • A smoke alarm should be fitted in every hallway and landing on each storey of the property;
  • A heat alarm should be fitted in every kitchen;
  • All smoke and heat alarms must be ceiling mounted and interlinked throughout the property.

Homeowners who fail to comply could have negative comments about their properties included in home reports or they could receive an order from their local council requesting they bring the property up to standard.

Gregor Cope, director of Scottish Property Centre Shawlands, said: “The changes may be almost two years away, but buyers and sellers should familiarise themselves with the new rules sooner rather than later to avoid falling foul of the legislation, should their property be inspected.

“With the standards affecting every homeowner, the regulations will ensure everyone benefits from the same high-level of protection whether they own their home or rent from a social or private landlord.”

For more information on the new standards and what homeowners are required to do to meet them, call your local Scottish property Centre branch or visit

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