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New Smoke Alarm Regulations

Are you aware that recent legislation has ushered in a host of new smoke alarm regulations? This is very important to understand if you happen to be a homeowner or a landlord. As the scope of these guidelines is quite broad, you will need to appreciate the finer points if you hope to avoid future issues.

These changes have come into play to ensure the safety of everybody. Let us take a look at how this new legislation will affect you.

An Extension to all Types of Homes

Previous regulations were meant to address the needs of privately rented properties. However, the new laws are relevant to all homes. The ultimate goal is to reduce the chances of a fire remaining undetected and ultimately, to save lives as well as properties.

Where Should the New Alarms be Installed?

This is one of the most important questions. According to the new smoke alarm requirements, you will need to have a device present within the room that is most frequently used (such as a kitchen or a living room). However, it is also necessary to install an alarm within spaces associated with frequent air circulation. Some examples of these areas may include:

  • Landings
  • Stairways
  • Interior Front Entrances

Additionally, a heat alarm must be installed within every kitchen. The fact that such devices will be present within numerous locations can help to ensure that a fire will be detected within a very short period of time.

Linking Individual Alarms

The chances are high that one or more smoke alarms are already present within your home. However, these units will now need to be linked with one another in order to provide superior levels of detection. Assuming that your alarms are not connected in this manner, they will need to be changed out for versions which can work in conjunction with one another.

New Electrical Standards

Previous fire detection systems were prone to suffer from a number of faults which could render them useless in the event of an emergency. This could have been caused by mains wiring issues or problems with internal batteries. The new regulations have taken these situations quite seriously, so your alarms will now have to meet new mains wiring standards and every unit must be equipped with a long-life battery that will function for extended periods of time in the event that power is cut to your residence (such as if internal wiring to the detector melts or becomes frayed).

Age Considerations

One of the situations which can lead to a potentially serious fire involves the age of the detectors themselves. Let's never forget that technology has come a long way in recent years. This is why the regulations also state that any detectors which have been installed for ten years or longer will need to be upgraded in favour of more recent models that can provide a greater degree of reliability.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is often referred to as the "silent killer". This is due to the fact that its presence goes largely undetected within the home. Carbon monoxide is odourless and by the time that its effects have been noticed, it could very well be too late. So, it only stands to reason that these new regulations require you to have a functioning carbon monoxide detector installed within your home.

How Long do You Have to Address These Requirements?

This new legislation came into effect on 1 February 2019. The good news is that you have a bit of leeway in regards to compliance. The law currently states that the changes mentioned above will need to take place within a two-year period. In other words, all upgrades should be carried out (at the latest) by 1 February 2021.
The bottom line is that these new smoke alarm regulations are meant to provide you and your family with a superior peace of mind. It makes perfect sense that you provide your home with the proper levels of protection.
Keep your home safe with P Blackhall Ltd. Give us a call today on 0131 357 3861 to speak to a member of our experienced team.



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