Nest Fire System and Scottish Legislation, Why You Should Avoid it

updated 
June 2024

Smoke alarms are mandatory in all private premises in Scotland and the rest of the UK, and modern technology developments are bringing to the market new smart smoke alarm systems such as Google Nest Protect fire detector. However, due to recent Fire Alarm Legislation update, these detectors might not be compliant with the law. If you are resident in the UK, you might want to think twice before upgrading your fire alarm system. Read this article to find out why Nest Fire Alarm system is not compliant for your home.

What Is The Nest Protect Smoke Alarm?

Nest Protect is the smoke alarm developed by Google to bring into your home an innovative 100% wireless and interconnected smoke alarm system. The Nest Protect alarms detect smoke, CO and other environmental threats in every room, plus it speaks to you so you never have to wonder if your family is safe.

Key Benefits of Nest Alarms

Nest Protect Smoke Alarm is a fully connected alarm system that alerts you in the event of a fire or other dangers. The system includes an app that allows users to turn off the alarm from anywhere they are and even talk through the mic on the device over VOIP. The Nest Protect also works with Nest Cam, Google’s famous surveillance camera, which can check your home for movement and detect any disturbances that might be happening outside when you're away.

Another great feature of this smoke detector is the Home/Away Assist, which automatically turns down the ringer when everybody is home to help you save on the electricity bill. The device also has a streamlined shape which offers it a professional and modern look.

The starting price is £59.99 for one Nest Protect smoke alarm unit. Here are some of the main features:

  • Wireless interconnected smoke alarm system
  • Detects smoke, CO and other environmental threats in every room
  • Includes an app that allows users to turn off alarm from anywhere they are and speak through mic
  • Compatible with Nest Cam, Google’s famous surveillance camera

It is clear how the Nest Smoke Alarm can be more efficient than a regular smoke alarm, but what you might not know is that Nest alarms do not meet some of the upcoming Legislation requirements for Fire and Smoke Alarms if you are resident in the UK.

Fire Alarm Legislation in the UK

Upcoming Legislation in Scotland

If you are resident in Scotland, you should be aware of the upcoming changes to the fire and smoke alarm regulations. Under the new rules, it will be against the law to reside in a home without an interlinked fire alarm system. This means that 95% of current homes will need to be upgraded with new fire and smoke alarms.

The new Scottish Legislation requires every home to install interlinked smoke and heat alarms, alongside with adequate carbon monoxide detectors. The interlinked fire alarms can be either hard-wired or wireless, depending on your preference.

There is a minimum requirement of fire alarms to be installed in each house, depending on the size and the areas of your home. If you are unsure how to behave with the new requirements, you should read our guide on what is an interlinked smoke alarm, and our full guide on Scottish Fire and Smoke Alarm Legislation 2022.

Legislation in England and Wales

If you are resident in the above areas, there is no upcoming legislation for fire and smoke alarms in your country at the moment. However, given the Scottish Legislation happening after a fire blaze in London, it is likely that regulations on smoke alarms might be updated in other countries too.

Upgrading fire alarms to new standards is not only necessary to meet the law requirements, but mainly to guarantee minimum safety standards to all tenants and homeowners, and prevent tragic events to happen in your home. If you do not reside in Scotland, you should still upgrade your fire alarms to the safest requirements as described in our guide.

Why Nest Smoke Detector is not compliant with New Regulations?

Despite the fact that Nest Protect has a very modern design and is advertised as "the smartest safety device you'll ever have", it does not meet the requirements of some of the upcoming fire regulations in every country. For instance, the upcoming Scottish Fire Alarm Legislation clearly states on the government website

Please note: the Nest Protect System will not meet the standard. This is because they do not meet the requirements for a heat alarm under the relevant British Standard. British Standard (BS 5839-6:2019) makes it clear that only heat alarms should be installed in kitchens.

Scottish Government Website

What are the main reasons why Nest Smoke Alarms do no meet the requirements?

Nest Fire Alarms Are Wi-Fi Interlinked

Google Nest Protect system can be wirelessly interlinked to create a safe circuit around your home, by fitting different Nest Smoke alarms units in different areas. However, this does not comply with the Scottish Legislation 2022 as the wireless fire alarms should connect through an internal circuit of radio-frequencies, while Nest Smoke Alarms use the Wi-Fi of your home.

In case there is a blaze in your home which starts from your router, the Nest Smoke Alarms would not be able to communicate the danger as the Wi-Fi communication could be faulty.

Nest Fire Alarms Do Not Have Tamper-proof batteries

Google Nest Protect is a battery powered smoke alarm which makes its installation easy as does not require any additional wiring across your home, allowing you to save money on installation fees.

However, the alarm is powered by AAA batteries, which are easily accessible and can be changed as soon as the alarm runs out of power. This does not meet the Scottish Legislation requirements, as the battery should be tamper-proof and guarantee 10-years of power with no additional charges.

If your existing smoke alarms do not have tamper-proof batteries, you should change them as your children could accidentally turn them on and off, without knowing the consequences, leaving your home off guard.

Nest Fire Alarms Do Not Detect Heat

Different areas of your house require different fire alarms, to detect smoke, heat or carbon monoxide. If you are unsure which detectors your home requires, you might want to check out our guide. Unfortunately, Google Nest Protect 2nd Generation only detects smoke and carbon monoxide within one single unit.

According to the Scottish Fire Alarm Legislation 2022, the Nest Detector does not meet the requirements, and cannot be interconnected to an external alarm to detect sources of heat in areas such as kitchen and indoors garage. Here's why you should install a heat alarm in the kitchen.

Nest Fire Alarms Detect Smoke When It's Not Required

As previously mentioned, the Nest Fire Alarm only detect smoke and carbon monoxide, which is a great combination for areas such as bedrooms or living rooms, but does not work for the kitchen.

While you could be thinking of using the Nest Detector in the kitchen as a smart carbon monoxide detector, this is also against the safety requirements, as the Nest Alarms would detect source of smoke, and often trigger false alarms.

What Fire Alarms Should You Purchase?

People think that installing fire alarms is difficult and expensive. This might be true, since local electricians often charge around £100 per hour for their services, not including additional costs such as materials and the fire alarm units themselves.

If you are looking for battery powered smoke and heat alarms, which are similar to Google Nest, easy to install and compliant with most recent regulations, you should install interlinked fire and smoke alarms.

Interlinked and Battery Powered Fire Alarms

Interlinked fire alarms are the best way to get compliant with the latest legislation requirements of your country, and to keep your family members safe under your roof. Interlinked fire alarms can be battery powered, which makes them easy to install as there is no extra wiring required in your home.

While replacing a battery in a smoke alarm can be really annoying, this is also important because you don't want your house to catch on fire. But don't worry, some of the interlinked smoke alarms have 10-year batteries, which you don't need to change. If you don't want to break your bank and fit some good quality fire alarms, which are compliant with UK regulations, you should check our selection of interlinked fire and smoke alarms here.

The Difference Between Nest Smoke Alarms and Interlinked Smoke Alarms

Fire is a danger to any household, all the more so if you do not have fire alarms installed throughout your property. This is why it's important to choose the right alarms for your needs. So what is the difference between Nest Smoke Alarms and other Interlinked Fire Alarms?

Nest Fire Alarms are battery powered smoke alarms with carbon monoxide sensors, which make them easy to install in your home, as they do not require wiring. They do not serve their purpose in areas other than bedrooms and living rooms, such as the kitchen, as they will detect source of smoke instead of the heat (which is against safety regulations).

On the other hand, Interlinked Smoke Alarms are compliant with the latest legislation requirements of your country's fire alarm systems, so you can stay safe at home. Interlinked Fire Alarms are also easy to install - no additional wiring required in your home as they come with batteries included. You also don't need to change the batteries for up to 10 years.

Where To Buy Interlinked Smoke Alarms?

While it may seems handy to have Nest Fire Alarms to detect both smoke and carbon monoxide within the same unit, this might go against the regulations in your country, and potentially void your home insurance policy in case of fire.

For this reason, we recommend you to install separate interlinked fire detectors across your home, and pay attention to their specification to make sure they are compliant with the laws. If you are looking for interlinked fire alarms that won't break your bank and give you maximum protection in your house, check our bundles and choose the one that meets the requirements of your home.

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Facts about home fires

38% of UK homes do not have a working smoke alarm 

One in three households in the UK do not have a working fire alarm and do not meet the government standards.

10,000 homes are destroyed every year due to fire

Last year saw the largest increase in UK deaths in a single year.

People in Scotland are more at risk of home fire than other UK countries

Last year saw the largest increase in UK deaths in a single year since 1940, according to provisional ONS figures

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