Scottish homeowners – What does the new standard in Fire and Carbon Monoxide Safety mean for you?

Understanding the changes to Scottish Fire Safety Laws – what do Homeowners need to do to protect their homes?

The standard states that from February 2022 all homes in Scotland must have:

  • one smoke alarm installed in the room most frequently used for general daytime living
  • one smoke alarm in every circulation space on each storey e.g. in hallways and landings
  • one heat alarm installed in every kitchen
  • a carbon monoxide alarm should be installed where there is a flue or a carbon-fuelled appliance (such as a boiler, a fire – including open fires, and heaters)

All smoke and heat alarms should be ceiling mounted and interlinked (either hardwired or wirelessly), and where battery powered, should contain a tamper-proof lithium battery sealed within the unit.

Carbon monoxide alarms do not have to be interlinked into the network under the guidelines of the new standard, however doing so will ensure an alert to carbon monoxide is heard across the whole network too.

The below FAQ’s should support you through this change, but if you do have any further questions please get in touch with our Customer Service team who would be happy to help.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which of FireAngel’s range is compliant to the new law?

There are three smoke and heat alarm ranges of FireAngel’s that comply with this new guidance.

  1. FireAngel Pro Connected Range – View the Range
  1. FireAngel Mains Powered Range, with long life back-up battery – Smoke Alarm ST-230 and Heat Alarm HT230
  1. FireAngel Mains Powered Range – Smoke Alarm SB1 and Heat Alarm HW1

Any of FireAngel’s Carbon Monoxide alarms with sealed long-life batteries are also suitable (CO-9X, CO-9D and FP1820W2-R)

If I already have smoke alarms installed do I need to do anything?

Yes – any fire and smoke alarms currently installed need to be checked to ensure that they’re compliant with the new guidelines.

If your current smoke alarms are:

  • Mains powered and able to hardwire or wirelessly interlink
  • Battery powered, with a 10-year sealed battery, and able to wirelessly interlink

You may be able to add to the network, keeping the current alarms installed. We would advise you contact the manufacturer of the alarms if you’re unsure.

How many alarms do I need to install to be compliant?

The quantity of alarms required depends on the property type you live in, so we would advise you complete a full assessment to ensure compliancy, however the below can be used to support this.

For example –

A two story, three-bedroom home with a gas boiler and cooker in separate rooms would require:

  • 3 x smoke alarms (being installed in the hallway, landing, and living room)
  • 1 x heat alarm (for the kitchen)
  • 2 x carbon monoxide alarms (to be installed as per the fitting instructions in the rooms where the boiler and cooker are installed)

A two bedroom flat with a gas boiler would require:

  • 2 x smoke alarms (being installed in the hallway and living room)
  • 1 x heat alarm (for the kitchen)
  • 1 x carbon monoxide alarm (to be installed as per the fitting instructions in the room where the boiler is installed)

The above examples are used purely as a minimum requirement under the new standards. To ensure the highest level of safety for you and your family we encourage:

  • Additional smoke alarms to be fitted in bedrooms and be interlinked into the network – giving you the fastest alert to fires whilst you’re sleeping
  • Heat alarms to also be installed in garages and lofts/attics
  • Carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in all rooms where you spend most of your time whilst at home e.g. bedrooms and living rooms

You can also install a smart alarm system which will allow you to test your alarm system via your phone, be notified of any device issues within the system and be notified of any fire or carbon monoxide alerts whilst you’re away from the home.

What does interlinked mean?

 Interlinked is a term used to describe a network of alarms that communicate with each other. In an interlinked network if one device detects fire then all devices in the network will sound – this means that if a fire starts in remote parts of the home, you are alerted across all devices instantly.

What’s the difference between hardwired and wirelessly interlinked?

 A wireless interlinked network is established using radio frequency – which means that additional alarms can be added to a network at any time.

 A hardwired interlink occurs when two or more alarms are connected by a physical wire that runs between the devices. If you don’t currently have alarms that are hardwired interlinked, but wanted to add this link, we would advise you to speak to an electrician.

I have mains powered alarms currently – do I have to rewire to add more alarms to this network?

If you don’t currently have enough alarms to comply with the new law then you have two options: you can either rewire to add further mains powered points for the ‘missing’ alarms, or you can install our Pro Connected alarm range and add additional alarms that are battery powered removing the need to rewire.

What’s the different between mains powered and battery powered alarms and how do I know how my current alarms are powered?

Mains powered alarms are powered by your home’s electricity supply and can be identified by a light which indicates they are connected to the mains power. Battery powered alarm do not have a green light and when removed you will have a flat base plate without any connections.  For safety reasons If your alarms are mains powered or you are not sure, you should consult a qualified electrician or the manufacturer for advice.

Does the Carbon Monoxide alarm have to be interlinked with the rest of the alarm network?

No, the Carbon Monoxide alarm can be independent of the rest of the alarm network, it does however need to have a sealed, long-life battery like the FireAngel alarms listed below:

FireAngel Pro Connected CO Alarm – FP1820W2-R

FireAngel Digital CO Alarm – CO-9D

FireAngel CO Alarm – CO-9X

How do I install the alarms?

Each alarm will be provided with an installation guide to support with installation. For mains powered alarms we recommend that a qualified electrician completes the install.

Is there anything else I can do to protect my home further?

If you install the FireAngel Pro Connected range in your home, you can add the Smart Gateway which will allow you to test the alarms and receive instant alerts via your phone or smart device.

You can also add further alarms to the system – adding a smoke alarm in every bedroom ensures you’re alerted to dangers rapidly at night. You can also add additional heat alarms in your garage and attic to be alerted to fires in those areas too.

Are there any bundles I can buy?

There are packs of our Pro Connected Alarms available to buy through the below retailers.

Amazon

B&Q

 

I currently have FireAngel Wi-Safe 2 alarms installed – can I add to this existing network?

Our Pro Connected Alarm range is compatible with the Wi-Safe2 products, so you can extend this network easily using the steps outlined in the manual.

Why can’t I change the battery in the unit?

A sealed battery ensures that the battery isn’t removed, leaving the home and occupants vulnerable to fire or carbon monoxide dangers. Once the battery runs low, and begins chirping, you will need to replace the full unit. These batteries are designed to operate in line with the life-span of the sensor within the alarm, which is usually 7 or 10 years.

How can I test the alarms easily?

When alarms are interlinked you can press the test button on one of the alarms to test the whole network. To make life even easier you can install our Smart Gateway in to your Pro Connected alarm range which enables you to test the alarms through the app – or you can even enable the Alexa skill and then Just Ask Alexa to test them!

Where can I buy compliant FireAngel alarms? 

Our alarms are sold in DIY stores and supermarkets, and online, at B&Q, Screwfix, Toolstation, Homebase, Wickes, Tesco, Amazon and Safelincs. You can also buy our alarms through our website.

Will the go-live date move?

The Scottish Government have advised a revised date of February 2022, however this could change so we would encourage homeowners to check the Scottish Government site regularly.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/fire-and-smoke-alarms-in-scottish-homes/

 

What will happen if I don’t make the changes?

Whilst we can’t comment on what may happen by law, we can advise that all home sales in the future will require to confirm compliance within the Home Report so not being compliant would prevent you being able to sell your home in the future.

Why have the Scottish Government changed the law for Fire & CO safety?

The Scottish Government have advised –

‘Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London, a Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety was established to review Scotland’s building and fire safety regulatory frameworks. This legislation will ensure that everyone in Scotland has the same level of protection whether they own or rent their home.’

https://www.gov.scot/publications/fire-and-smoke-alarms-in-scottish-homes/

By specifying interlinked, long-life alarms they are supporting the highest level of fire and CO detection in domestic homes – with alerts across the whole home and no risk of batteries being taken out of alarms you will be alerted to danger rapidly, giving you additional time to escape.

 

Where can I find further information on the legislative changes?

You can follow updates on the below links:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/fire-and-smoke-alarms-in-scottish-homes/

https://www.gov.scot/publications/fire-and-smoke-alarms-tolerable-standard-guidance/