New fire and smoke alarm laws delayed until early 2022

23 December 2020 | Renting

New fire and smoke alarm laws delayed until early 2022

The Scottish Parliament has postponed new fire and smoke alarm legislation for 12 months.

This move, by its local government committee, follows anger from landlords and owner occupiers concerned at the new rules coming into effect during the pandemic.

The new standard, which currently applies to private rented property and all new-builds in Scotland, was to be extended to all homes next February. 

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Work to extend the activity to the social housing sector is said to be well underway already, but extending this work to privately owned residences will not now be compulsory until early 2022.

The improved standards require a smoke alarm fitted in the living room or lounge, and in circulation spaces such as hallways and landings. 

Every kitchen must also have a heat alarm, and all alarms must be interlinked so they can be heard throughout the property. 

There must also be a carbon monoxide alarm where there are fixed combustion appliances. 

Landlords and owner occupiers can install tamper-proof long-life lithium battery alarms themselves. Mains-wired alarms should be installed by a qualified electrician.

Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart says: “I welcome the Parliament’s decision to postpone the implementation of the new standard to February 2022. This will allow more time for people to make changes to meet the standard. 

“We will ensure people are supported with the right information and advice and will keep all of this under close review. 

“The Scottish Government is committed to improving fire safety. We want to ensure the same level of protection is in place regardless of whether you own your home or rent from a social or private landlord. 

“Although the postponement will give people a further twelve months to install the required alarms, I hope that most people will recognise its safety benefits and take action much sooner.”

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.