The Risk For Not Fitting Interlinked Smoke Alarms By February 2022 Explained

updated 
February 2024

With the new Scottish Legislation for Fire and Smoke Alarms, all homes will have a higher level of protection by February 2022. This new standard will meet all of the requirements necessary to maintain safety standards for current and future occupiers, making the home feel safer and more secure.

This could be a long process to make sure that all homes in Scotland are compliant, with some families not making the deadline due to high demand and low stock of alarms. Let's find out what happens if you fail to comply with the new regulations by February 2022, and how to avoid this to happen.

Scottish Fire And Smoke Alarm Legislation In Brief

The new Scottish legislation requires that all homes, both private and social, are fitted with a Fire And Smoke Alarm System. The alarm system must be interlinked so that upon activation it will sound throughout the property. Disconnected alarms will not meet the requirements of this new legislation and could result in a penalty for those who do not comply. Click here to find our in-depth guide on what alarms your home requires.

How Do I Know If My Existing Alarms Are Interlinked?

To find out if your home is already compliant, you need to make sure all your smoke and heat alarms are interlinked together. There are two ways to do so:

  • Ask your electrician. If your alarms have been recently fitted by an electrician, they might have updated your fire alarm system already. It is advised to give them a call to make sure your home is compliant.
  • Test the alarms yourself. If you can't reach the electric company, or if you have fitted the alarms yourself, you can test the alarms by yourself. Simply trigger one of the alarms and if all the other detectors also go off, then your alarms are interlinked and your home is compliant. If the other alarms don't go off, then you are urged to comply as soon as possible.

In addition, your carbon monoxide detector must have a tamper-proof non-replaceable battery. According to the government guidelines, there is no need for the CO detector to be interlinked with the rest of the system. Please refer to the government website for full guidance on CO detectors.

When Should I Install A New Fire Alarm System?

The latest legislation means from 1st February 2022, all new dwellings in Scotland must have an interlinked fire and smoke alarm system installed. The new standard will improve protection for everyone living there and protect them against a potential fire.

Given the high demand and low stock of detectors, it is advised that you purchase a fire system way before the deadline. This way you can have a higher choice between different brands and models, and receive the alarms in time to have them installed before February next year.

If you are planning to get the fire alarms fitted by your local electrician, bear in mind that this is also the best moment to get the alarm systems upgraded to the new standards. Later in the year, local electricians will be busier and also more expensive as every homeowner will be rushing to get their alarms up to standard.

Where To purchase Your New Fire Alarm System?

If you are unsure of how many devices your home requires, and what areas should be covered, you can call your local electric company and request a custom quote. Otherwise, you can use some online services to find out your custom quote, within minutes and free of charge. Click here to find out your future cost for the alarms.

If you already know what detectors your home requires, the best option for you is to purchase a ready-to-go interlinked alarms bundle online: there are a lot of brands available with free delivery and installation guide included in the price. Some even offer special deals on interlinked systems, in case you purchase a full protection bundle that covers all the areas of your home. Before proceeding with the purchase, make sure that the alarms are interlinked and compliant with the new standards.

If you are looking to purchase your detector online, you should have a look at our offer for interlinked smoke alarms bundles. FireGuard+ offers a wide range of fire alarms with a solution that fits in any home. Check out our interlinked fire alarm bundles by clicking here.

Either you are willing to install the alarms yourself or call your local electric company, you should do it now to avoid low stocks. Also, if you still have a wired system, it is recommended to make sure the cables are in good condition. This way, you can avoid fire hazards and meet the new regulations at the same time. Read here on how you can save money on interlinked smoke and fire alarms.

What's Gonna Happen If You Don't Comply By The Deadline?

The Government expects up to 90% of Scottish homes to be compliant by the deadline in February 2022. Due to the reasons discussed before, some families will likely fail to comply by then.

Failing to meet the new standards could result in different issues and limitations for your property. The responsibility to upgrade the fire alarm system will rest with the property owner, but enforcement is up to local authorities.

Letting Your Property

If you are letting your property, it is still your responsibility to ensure your tenants are protected to the highest standards. Failing to do so, you might encounter issues in renting out your property or update the tenancy agreement as the updated versions include the voice "interlinked smoke and fire alarms". Even if it doesn't, it is still best practice to upgrade the fire alarms ahead of the deadline.

Insurance May Be Voided

If you own the property, you should get in touch with your insurance company as soon as possible if you have not upgraded the fire alarm system yet. You may void your insurance if the property is not compliant with the new standards, and the insurance company may refuse to pay in case of a home fire. Again, the best solution is to comply with the new standard today, to avoid issues tomorrow.

Act Today

Local Authorities may step in if you do not comply with the new standard, but they will most likely try to help the homeowner first by informing them about the new regulations. It is up to the local authority to decide whether it should get involved in enforcing what is a legal requirement or not and they will take into account different factors when making their decision. If you are not sure how to proceed with the installation of interlinked fire alarms, you should read our full guidance available on the blog.

Why English Homeowners Should Install Interlinked Smoke Alarms Too

The recent legislation in Scotland is likely to be followed by a similar law in England, as the current standards for fire protection are not enough to guarantee adequate safety for all dwellings. Not having an interlinked fire alarm system could represent a big difference in case of a fire.

If you are resident in England, it is highly advised to get in touch with your local electric company or look for the best deals for interlinked fire alarms online. Find out what areas you need to protect to provide full protection against fire hazards by clicking here.

Even if your tenancy agreement or current legislation do not require interlinked smoke alarms fitted in place, if you are letting your property it is still your responsibility to ensure your tenants are protected to the highest standards. Failing to do so, you might encounter issues in renting out your property or update the tenancy agreement as the updated versions include the voice "interlinked smoke and fire alarms". If you are renting the property, you should ensure that your landlord is providing maximum safety standards in your house.

The Benefits Of Having An Interconnected Smoke Alarm System

Most modern alarm systems are interconnected, which means the alarm system splits up the house into sections and would go off if any section detects smoke. This is an essential safeguard against house fires, as it allows for a faster response time to take place. It also prevents false alarms from happening- having different types of alarms across your house depending on the type of the room, you will likely have fewer false alarms happening in the kitchen. Discover the difference between smoke and heat alarms, and why your kitchen alarm beep every time you cook.

Here are the key benefits of fitting an interlinked fire alarm system today:

  • Even if a fire starts at one end of the house because all the alarms are interconnected, they will all be activated at once
  • Disasters can happen anywhere in your home so this safeguards against that. It's also an important safety aspect for the elderly and individuals with disabilities or those who live alone
  • Having an interlinked system also allows for a faster response for you to discover potential fires and proactively react, especially if you live in a big property
  • You can add additional fire alarms to your home any time, without calling an electrician to do the job for you. Discover how to add multiple fire alarms to your existing fire alarm system
  • Interlinked fire alarms can be expensive, especially if fitted by your local contractors. Here's how to save money on interlinked smoke alarms, even compared with traditional alarms

How To Save Money With Fitting Interlinked Fire Alarms

The new standard alarms are not that expensive, but they can be. The best way to save money on the new alarms is by buying them yourself and installing them in your house - it's much easier than you might think.

The new Scottish Regulation allows homeowners to install their smoke alarms to save time and money, which is the reason why it's better to buy it yourself. It is possible to buy a full kit with all the panels and wires included for about £40 - £70 per detector, which is more convenient than having a contractor fit the alarms with a starting price of £100 just for the callout.

If you are unsure you can do it yourself, have a look at how easy it could be in our video guide here. You don't need to use any tools and it takes just a few minutes, as long as you follow the easy steps. Here's a cost comparison between installing the alarms yourself and using one of the local electric companies. Discover how you can save up to £500 per house.

Don't Wait To Get Compliant

If you are letting your property, it is still your responsibility to ensure that tenants have the highest standards of protection against fire hazards. This means ensuring that smoke alarms in particular are interconnected and installed at all points throughout the house. There's never been a better time or more affordable option than installing an interlinked alarm system yourself- these systems can be expensive if done by local electricians.

The good news? You don't need any tools for installation and only take a few minutes! If you're not sure whether or not you want to tackle this project on your own, please click here to get a custom quote for your interlinked fire alarm system, free of charge. If you already know what your home requires to meet the Scottish Smoke Alarm Standards, click here to explore our existing interlinked smoke alarm bundles.

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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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Smoke Alarm Bundles
FireGuard+ Interlinked Smoke and Heat Alarms are easy to install and do not require an electrician. Discover how.
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