This year, interlinked smoke alarms have started receiving a large amount of coverage in the press. Yet, many people still remain confused about what they are and how they differ from ‘regular’ smoke detectors. So today we will take this time to get clear on all those questions for you!
What is an interlinked smoke alarm?
Unlike regular smoke detectors which operate individually, interlinked smoke alarms work by connecting wirelessly across different rooms. If smoke is detected in one area of your home, all of the alarms will trigger. This ensures that you get alerted of the fire no matter where you are in your home or office building.
What’s the benefit of hearing a smoke alarm in another room?
In today's world, we're often listening to music or watching TV in another room. If you're really tuned in then there's a fair chance that you may not even notice that a fire has started in another room. This presents a huge risk as housefires often rapidly progress from small flames to large ones. Further, smoke-filled rooms and hallways will compromise your ability to safely leave the home. Simply put, implementing an interlinked alarm system can save lives.
Will my existing alarms be compliant?
This really depends on when you (or your landlord) bought your alarms. Although interlinked alarm systems have been available for a long time. They have only been highlighted by fire safety experts since around 2018 and yet, many retail outlets still focus on selling traditional fire alarm units due to their cheaper price. If you are unsure about whether or not your alarms are interlinked, check your order details from when you bought the items. If your landlord installed them, then give them a call to check. Otherwise, if you're at all unsure then the odds are that they are not interlinked.
Do smoke alarms need to be interlinked?
If you live in Scotland, yes. New legislation has been introduced by the Scottish Government which makes it law that every home must have an interlinked fire alarm system in place from February 2022.
Ready To Buy An Interlinked Fire System?
The following options are tailored to homes of different sizes:
The consequences of not complying
If you have home or contents insurance, then there may be stipulations in your policy that state that your home must comply with all fire safety laws. This means that if you do not have interlinked fire alarms installed at your property, there is a chance that your insurer may not pay out.
Landlords Could Be Fined
Although this ramification may not be as troublesome for people who own their homes, but for landlords, it's your obligation to look after your tenants and to make sure that the accommodation you provide them complies with the law. Therefore, if one of your tenants has their property destroyed or is injured as a result of a lack of fire alarm compliance then it may give them grounds to take legal action.
Lastly, this point comes as no surprise. Interlinked alarms are safer. Having those extra minutes or seconds of being alerted about a deadly fire can be the difference between life and death. And so, it's no wonder that the Scottish government is pushing forward with this legislation.
How much does an interlinked smoke alarm system cost?
Interlinked smoke alarm systems vary in cost considerably depending on the brand you choose, the type of system you opt for and if you decide to install it yourself or to hire a contractor to do the work for you. Per unit though, you can expect to pay between £35 and £60.