Carbon Monoxide Alarms for Scottish Homes

Tomorrow, 1 February 2022, marks the deadline for both homeowners and landlords with property in Scotland to comply with the new rules for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in Scotland.

All Scottish homes will be required to have interlinked (usually via radio frequency) smoke and heat alarms, and carbon monoxide alarms (which do not need to be interlinked) for most carbon fuelled appliances. All alarms must meet the relevant British Standards, for carbon monoxide alarms this is listed as EN 50291-1.

Accessible content: a 1 min video explainer on the new regulations for Scotland, made by Aico.

The Scottish Government website explains:

By February 2022 every home must have:

  • one smoke alarm in the living room or the room you use most
  • one smoke alarm in every hallway or landing
  • one heat alarm in the kitchen

All smoke and heat alarms should be mounted on the ceiling and be interlinked.

If you have a carbon-fuelled appliance – like a boiler, fire, heater, or flue – in any room, you must also have a carbon monoxide detector in that room, but this does not need to be linked to the fire alarms.

For further details, see private landlords guidance on the exclusion of fixed combustion appliances used solely for cooking, and Fire safety for home owners for the exclusion of gas cookers and hobs.

The Scottish Government has provided the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) with £1m funding to install these alarms in the homes of people assessed to be at high risk from fire as part of a home fire safety visit. To request a Home Fire Safety Visit, Scottish consumers can contact SFRS on 0800 0731999 or text “FIRE” to 80800. For older and disabled homeowners, support is also available from Care & Repair Scotland.

Across the four nations, the UK is improving regulation of domestic alarms and recognising the importance of indoor air quality for public wellbeing.

On 23 November 2021, the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC), announced the outcome of the consultation on domestic smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in England. In a significant expansion, the department will bring forward changes to require carbon monoxide alarms in rented accommodation and new build properties where there is a fixed combustion appliance, excluding gas cookers. There will also be an obligation both private and social sector landlords to repair or replace alarms, once informed that they are faulty.

The Welsh Government recently announced that it will bring forward changes from 15 July 2022 with the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, which will require landlords to ensure working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are fitted in their tenanted properties.

Carbon monoxide alarms are a mandatory requirement for all homes where a new fossil fuel appliance is installed in Northern Ireland, after a change to The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 came into operation on 31 October 2012.