The Importance of the New
Fire Alarm Laws when
Selling a House in Scotland
Changes to the fire alarm law in Scotland
from February 2022
The Scottish Government carried out a review of Scotland’s building
and fire safety legal framework following the tragic fire at Grenfell
Tower in London. This resulted in legislation* being passed in
January 2019 which will come into force in February 2022. The new
legal requirements were originally due to come into force in
February 2021, but in light of difficulties caused by COVID-19 the
Scottish Parliament agreed to delay implementation for 12
months. With only 5 months left, it is important for all homeowners
to start taking any action needed to ensure compliance with the new
requirements in time. There is of course no need to wait until the
deadline, and improved fire safety in our homes will undoubtedly be
beneficial and in some cases life-saving.
Fire & smoke alarm rules for homes
All residential dwellings, whether owned or rented, will be required
• one smoke alarm installed in the room most frequently used for
general daytime living purposes;
• one smoke alarm in every circulation space on each storey, such
as hallways and landings; and
• one heat alarm installed in every kitchen.
These alarms must be ceiling-mounted and interlinked.
A carbon monoxide detector is also required where there is a
carbon-fuelled appliance (such as a boiler, fire or heater) or a
flue. This does not need to be linked to the fire alarms.
There are two types of alarms that comply with the new
1. tamper-proof long-life lithium battery alarms, which can be fitted
by individuals themselves; or
2. mains-wired alarms, which are cheaper but should be installed
by a qualified electrician and may require a building warrant for
installation in a flat.
In tenements or blocks of flats, it is not necessary for individual
properties to be linked to each other, and there is no requirement
for alarms to be fitted in communal areas s