The logic behind why the Scottish government wants your fire alarms to be interlinked

June 2024

Such a sweeping governmental policy is bound to ruffle some feathers and it certainly achieved that. The new Scottish legislation that's becoming law in early 2022 will require hundreds of thousands of households to update their home smoke, heat and carbon monoxide detectors. For some, it will be an unexpected cost that could have gone somewhere else. And the government, aware of the financial struggles that people have been facing following the struggles of the 2020/21 pandemic proceeded with it anyway. If you're curious about why then this article is for you.

Why was the legislation put forward?

After the Grenfell tower burnt down in June 2017 as a result of a fridge-freezer fire, the Scottish government made a point of researching and finding out a solution to help protect people in Scotland from the same risks.

What does new legislation say?

Smoke and heat alarms need to be interlinked together

Logic: If one of your alarms detect signs of a fire in your home, but you are in another room then you may still not be able to hear it. With interlinked smoke and heat alarms that go off together, then you will be more likely to hear and respond to the threat of fire and be able to evacuate your home in time. This is particularly important for people who live in apartment complexes as fires can easily spread between levels such as with the Grenfell tower.

You need one interlinked smoke alarm in your living room

Logic: You are more likely to have a fire in a room that you use often since there will be an increased number of electrical devices present and present and possibly flammables like candles.

You need one interlinked smoke alarm on each circulation space on each storey

Logic: If a fire starts on one storey then the layout of your hallway may prevent the smoke from reaching your alarm quickly and therefore it will be delayed in going off. Having a smoke alarm on each storey of your home allows the alarms to trigger more quickly, buying you more time to react to fire.

You need one interlinked heat alarm in your kitchen

Logic: Even the best chefs cause a little bit of smoke when they are cooking. If you installed a smoke alarm in your kitchen then it will trigger a false alarm whenever it detects smoke. Heat alarms work to detect fire instead when there is a rise in temperature, another indication that a fire may be present. This way, you can cook food in peace.

You need to install a carbon monoxide detector in any room where there is a carbon-fuelled appliance

Logic: Carbon monoxide fumes are silent and deadly. They can come from any carbon-fuelled appliance and so it's important that you take precautions and are alerted if there is any risk of this gas escaping.

Carbon Monoxide detectors do not need to be linked

Logic: Although carbon monoxide gas is dangerous and if found to be in your home, you should take action immediately by calling a heating engineer, since it is not a sign of fire it should be treated as a separate source of danger.

Interlinked Alarms can be fitted in minutes

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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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FireGuard+ Interlinked Smoke and Heat Alarms are easy to install and do not require an electrician. Discover how.
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We will update you regarding future changes in Smoke Alarm Legislation.