2022 Fire Alarm Regulations:
The fire alarm regulations on smoke alarms in homes in the UK vary depending on where you live. Also, whether it’s a rented property or your own. In England, Wales and Scotland, it’s a legal requirement to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of your property.
If you’re a landlord or a tenant in the UK, it is important to know what regulations apply. There are two types of smoke alarms that can be installed:
- The Smoke Alarm (England) Regulations 2015.
- The Smoke Alarm (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2022.
- Under The Renting Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) (Wales) Regulations 2022.
Fire Alarm Regulations, The UK
In England and Wales, it is a legal requirement to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of your property. This is a legal requirement in Scotland as well, but authorities there recommend that you install more than one.
In England, you are required to install a smoke alarm on every storey of the premises. Firstly, living accommodation is classed as a room that is used for the primary purposes of living or a room in which a person spends a significant proportion of their time.
- Install a smoke detector in rooms used wholly or partly as living accommodation. In any room which is used either wholly or partly as living accommodation.
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm where any solid fuel-burning appliance exists.
The new fire alarm regulations in relation to smoke alarm regulations are of great importance. The UK Government recognise that around 4,000 people are hospitalised each year through CO poisoning. Of these 4,000, 20 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year. The deadline of 15th July 2023 has been issued to the whole of the UK.
The smoke alarm regulations in Scotland changed as of the 1st February 2022. The most significant change is that now every home in Scotland is required to have interlinked fire alarms. The interlinked system means that if one alarm goes off, then they all will sound. This system of interlinked smoke alarms is a safer system because it ensures that the alarm will be heard all over the house/apartment.
Every home in Scotland is now required to have:
- 1 smoke alarm in the room you spend most of the day in e.g. living room
- 1 smoke alarm in every circulation space on each storey e.g. landing
- 1 heat alarm in the kitchen
The new smoke alarm regulations also determine the types of interlinked fire alarms that you need in order to meet the conditions of the new rules:
- Sealed battery alarms: These should be tamper-proof long-life (can be up to 10 years) batteries. You are able to fit these alarms yourself.
- Mains-wired alarms: These alarms are cheaper than the tamper-proof long-life battery alarms but need to be installed by a qualified electrician. These require replacement every 10 years.
Both of the types of alarms mentioned above can be interlinked by radio frequency and do not need wifi. However, if the carbon monoxide alarm is battery operated, it must have a sealed battery for the duration of its lifespan. This can be up to 10 years.
All the smoke and heat alarms should be mounted on the ceiling and interlinked. You should check the manufacturer’s guidance on each alarm. These instructions will demonstrate where the alarm should be placed.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
A carbon monoxide detector is essential if you have a carbon-fuelled appliance, though this does not need to be linked fire alarms. Note that gas cookers and hobs do not require a carbon monoxide detector to be installed.
The new smoke alarm regulations in Wales means that all rented properties must have a minimum of the following:
- At least one hard-wired smoke alarms powered by the mains on each level of the home
- All hard-wired alarms are required to be interlinked. This can be either via a wireless radio-linking system or through a wired interlinking system.
- A carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a fuel-burning appliance such as gas, oil or solid fuel
- A heat alarm in the kitchen
There is a deadline by which landlords will have to comply with these new regulations, the date being the 15th July 2023. Regardless of the regulations reached on the 15th July 2022, providing a CO alarm in each room with a fuel appliance is applicable for all rented properties.
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