Could the new Scottish smoke and heat alarm laws affect your property insurance?

From February, all Scottish homes will need to adhere to new smoke alarm, heat alarm and carbon monoxide laws, designed to better protect homeowners across the country. These laws require Scottish households to have interlinked smoke and heat alarms installed; any homes with a fuel burning appliance will also require a Carbon Monoxide alarm.

Why Scottish homes require interlinked alarms

Depending on the size of your home, if an alarm goes off in one room – you may not hear it. With interlinked alarms, if one alarm sounds, the rest of the alarms will go off too. This means that you are immediately alerted to the danger and have more chance of either preventing a fire or getting out of your home safely.

What alarms do Scottish homes require?

To adhere to the new regulations, Scottish homes will need to have:

  • 1 x SMOKE ALARM in the room you spend time in most often, fitted to the ceiling
  • 1 x SMOKE ALARM in hallways and landings, fitted to the ceiling<
  • 1 x HEAT ALARM in the kitchen, fitted to the ceiling

These alarms can either be mains wired or powered by sealed tamper-proof batteries; they cannot be powered by replaceable batteries.

Are interlinked smoke and heat alarms powered by WiFi?

You do not need a WiFi connection for your interlinked alarm system. These are connected through radio signals.

Who is responsible for fitting interlinked alarms in Scottish homes?

It is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure that its alarm system meets the new regulations. In the case of rented property, the onus would fall onto the landlord.

What happens if I don’t adhere to the new Scottish heat and smoke alarm regulations?

Councils have confirmed they will be taking a ‘light touch’ to homes not complying and no fines will be issued. However, if your property fails to meet these new regulations by February, this could have an impact on your Home Insurance. While not all insurers have confirmed what their stance will be yet, we have already been in touch with an insurer who has confirmed they will be including this as a condition of cover moving forwards and many others could be set to follow.

If your home does not meet these regulations, and it is a condition of your insurance policy, you are in danger of discovering that your cover is void when it comes to making a claim. 

To find out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Affinity Brokers Ltd on 0141 221 9344.