I appreciate the changes to smoke and CO2 alarms regulations are in Scotland, but any changes in Scotland and Wales usually fan out to England in the future. That’s why we keep a look out on the regular legal updates we receive for any changes that might affect you in the future.
In Scotland the SNP have stipulated that all homes have to be brought up to a ‘tolerable standard’. This means that all homes must have satisfactory equipment to detect and give warning of fire and carbon monoxide.
What this actually means ?
It means that alarms must be placed on every storey, which includes hallways and landings, and in the most frequented parts of the house, such as the living room. Also, a heat alarm must be in situ in the kitchen and a carbon monoxide alarm wherever there is a fuel burning appliance or flue.
In addition to this, all heat and smoke alarms must be interlinked to provide the most effective warning system. The interlink would need to be mains powered with a battery back up or battery powered by a tamperproof long-life battery.
The type of person used for this work must be approved by Trading Standards (SELECT members in Scotland).
As an extra caution, landlords are being advised to make sure that alarms are labelled and marked with the following information
– Manufacturer’s name and address;
– Batch code/date of manufacture;
– Model number and type;
– The relevant standard number for the type of alarm installed.
For heat detectors, products should be identified as compliant with ‘BS EN 5446-2’, while smoke alarms and multi-sensor alarms should be identified as compliant with ‘BS EN 14604’. CO alarms should be identified as compliant with ‘BS EN 50291-1’. Multi-sensor alarms may also be identified as compliant with ‘BS EN 54-29’.
The Scottish government are also supplying a helpline for anyone who finds a non-compliant product.
What does this mean to you now?
At the beginning of a new tenancy we ensure there is a working smoke alarm on each habitable floor for you. It is then a tenant’s responsibility to check these regularly and they are reminded to do so when we send the access letter for inspections. There is no need to have a note of the manufactures name etc.
When your gas appliances are checked, in most cases, the gas safety engineer will test smoke alarms at the annual gas safety check.
If you have an HMO then we would have checked that you have an integrated alarm system which would have been installed by a qualified electrician.
If you have solid fuel burning fires/appliances we ensure that a CO alarm is present at the start of each tenancy.
Therefore, you are covered by law and best practice for the laws of England for smoke and CO2 alarms.
What is best practice?
We have been encouraging landlords to install heat detectors in the kitchen as consultation has been going through on this subject. We would expect regulations on this to land by next spring.
Sometimes it can be easy to forget the basics
That is why we are here to help and guide you. If you have any queries on your property or are concerned that you do not have the correct system is place. Just give us a call on 01480 494939 or contact us via [email protected]