Scottish households unprepared for law change surrounding fire alarms

Law change

Almost half of households (49%) in Scotland haven’t installed an interlinked fire alarm yet, according to research by Toolstation, despite the imminent legislation change.

The survey also found that 82% didn’t know that there was a grant available to help install fire alarms in the homes of the elderly and disabled too.

The law, which comes into effect in February, states that every home in Scotland must have an interlinked fire alarm. It means that if one fire alarm goes off, they should all go off. The rule is intended because households may not always hear the alarm closest to the fire, especially if they are elsewhere in the house. Homeowners will be responsible to ensure that homes meet the new safety standard.

Toolstation, which has 40 branches in Scotland, conducted research that found 54% have installed or are planning to install sealed battery alarms, and that 21% are opting to install mains-wired fire alarms. One-in-five (21%) plan to have a combination of both.

50% of those who plan to have a mains-wired alarm will rely on a professional electrician or engineer to install it for them.

Toolstation Electrical Category Manager Colin Freeland says: “It is important everyone gets to grips with the change to the law, and that all retailers and bodies do a good job of explaining it so Scottish households don’t get caught out. Our research found that 50% plan to have their mains-wired alarms fitted by a qualified electrician who will be ably placed to explain how they work. If households prefer they can opt for a long-life battery powered interlinked alarm which is  easy to install.”

By February every home will be required to have one smoke alarm in the room that is most frequently occupied during the day, one smoke alarm in every circulation space such as a hallway or landing and a heat alarm in the kitchen. All of these alarms should be ceiling mounted and interlinked.

Households that have carbon-fuelled appliances, like a boiler, fire, heater or flue must also have a carbon monoxide detector. This does not need to be linked to the fire alarms.

Toolstation stocks a wide range of mains-wired and battery powered fire alarms both online and in-store.

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