Smoke Alarms in Private Lets – Revised Statutory Guidance for Scotland

The Scottish Government has produced revised statutory guidance on the requirements for smoke alarms. Below are the main points relating to smoke detectors from the revised Domestic Technical Handbook.

  • One functioning smoke alarm in the* room which is frequently used by the occupants for general daytime living purposes.
  • One functioning smoke alarm in every circulation space, such as hallways and landings.
  • One heat alarm in every kitchen.
  • All alarms should be interlinked.
  • The number and position of alarms will depend on the size and layout of the house, but there should be at least one alarm on each floor.
  • The landlord should either install smoke and fire alarms that meet the standard set by building regulations or be able to justify why a lesser level of protection is appropriate in a particular property.
  • Some properties may be required to meet more stringent standards, in which case further alarms may be needed.
  • An alarm should be installed in accordance with the recommendations contained in BS5839 Part 6 and the landlord should ensure the alarms are regularly maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations. The fitting of a hard-wired (mains powered) smoke alarm may require a building warrant and the relevant local authorities should be consulted.

(* Text amended September 2014. Building regulations were updated in May 2014 and the word ‘every’ was replaced by ‘the’ in clause 2.11.1 of the technical handbook)