The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is urging householders and property-owners in the Western Isles to prepare for the introduction of new rules on smoke alarms in their homes.
New legislation is coming into force in February 2022 which applies to all homes, whether they are rented or owner-occupied.
The Scottish Government said: “Every home in Scotland must have interlinked fire alarms by February 2022.
“Interlinked means if one goes off, they all go off, so you will always hear an alarm wherever you are in your home.
“The new law has come about because of the Grenfell fire in London in 2017, and it applies to all Scottish homes. It is the property owner’s responsibility for meeting the new standard.”
The regulations require all homes to have at least:
- One smoke alarm in the most frequently-used room of the house/living room
- One smoke alarm in each circulation space (hallway or landing) and
- One heat alarm in every kitchen.
Under the new rules, alarms must all be interlinked, so that wherever a fire starts, all the alarms will sound.
In rooms that have an open fire, boiler or other carbon-fuelled appliance, carbon monoxide alarms must also be fitted. These do not have to be linked to the other smoke alarms.
Mairi Macdonald, community safety advocate for SFRS Western Isles, said: “Smoke detectors should be tested weekly using the test button. If your smoke detectors are interlinked, all of them will activate when you press the test button on one.
“SFRS are able to provide interlinked smoked detectors to homeowners who are found to be at high risk of fire, if the homeowner is eligible.
“A home fire safety visit can be requested online at https://www.firescotland.gov.uk/your-safety/at-home/home-fire-safety-visit/, by calling 0800 0731 999, or by texting FIRE to 80800.
“The Western Isles fire station will be in touch and will advise on eligibility, as well as confirming a home fire safety visit.”
Rental tenants can request a home fire safety visit, but installation of any alarms needed must be arranged by their landlord.
You can find full information on the new regulations here https://www.gov.scot/publications/fire-and-smoke-alarms-in-scottish-homes/ and on smoke alarms and how to test them here https://www.firescotland.gov.uk/your-safety/at-home/alarms/smoke-and-heat.
Care and Repair Scotland have received funding from the Scottish Government to administer a fire alarms assistance package for older lower income and disabled homeowners.
Care and repair’s Western Isles manager James Macdonald said:
“The core target group for care and repair services is older owner occupiers aged 60 and over.
“To find out whether your existing alarms are interlinked, there should be a test button on each detector. If you press the button and hold, it will sound and you should hear the others sound after a short delay.
“In the Western Isles, care and repair is operated by Tighean Innse Gall (TIG), and we can also offer competitive installation packages for clients who do not qualify for government assistance.
The pictures show SFRS community safety advocate Mairi Macdonald testing a smoke alarm, and with some of the new wireless interlinked alarms.