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Smoke Alarms

Until recently, private landlords' repairing obligations were contained in Schedule 10 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987. This was replaced by the new 'Repairing Standard' in terms of Chapter 4 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 with the new legislation being effective from Monday 3rd September 2007. The Repairing Standard applies to all private sector tenancies with the exception of occupancy agreements that are not leases.

The Repairing Standard states that there must be a satisfactory means of detecting and warning about fire (such as smoke alarms)

The main points relative to smoke detectors as set out in the statutory guidance are:

  • There should be one or more functioning smoke alarm installed in the house;
  • The number and position of alarms is to be determined by the size and layout of the house;
  • There should normally be at least one alarm on each floor;
  • If there are multiple alarms they should be interlinked;
  • Any smoke alarm installed after 3rd September 2007 must be mains powered, including replacement alarms;
  • Landlords should ensure that smoke alarms are regularly maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

 

Hard Wired Smoke Alarms
Repairing Standard under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 states
There is adequate provision for detecting and giving warning of fires if there is one or more than one functioning smoke alarm installed in the house, the number and position of alarms to be determined by the size and layout of the house. There should normally be at least one smoke alarm on each floor. If there are multiple alarms, they should be interlinked. Although it is best practice to install mains powered smoke alarms, an existing smoke alarm may be mains powered or battery powered. However, a smoke alarm installed from 3 September 2007 onwards must be mains powered. This includes replacement alarms. If there is a requirement for the house to meet a more stringent standard of provision for detecting and giving warning of fire (for example, in a house in multiple occupation [HMO] requiring to be licensed, or under building regulations), then the Repairing Standard criterion is only to be regarded as met if that requirement is met. An alarm should be installed in accordance with the recommendations contained in the British Standard on the design of fire detection installations for dwellings (BS5839 Part 6). The fitting of a hard-wired smoke alarm system may require a building warrant and landlords should consult the Building Standards department of the local