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Fire and smoke alarms

Building Regulations

This page explains the requirements of the minimum Tolerable Standard that applies to all dwellings regardless of when they were built.  A different standard may apply:

  • If the work is being done as part of alterations or an extension, the system installed must meet the requirements of the current building regulations
  • If the property already has a hard-wired alarm system installed, this must be replaced with the same type (mains powered) or a building warrant may be required

The new legislation

An amendment to The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 extended the definition of a house meeting the Tolerable Standard. The new requirements come in to force from the 1st February 2022.

To meet the new definition of Tolerable Standard, every home must have:

  • A smoke alarm in
    • the living room, or the room used the most, and
    • in every hall or landing (each floor)
  • A heat alarm in the kitchen
  • The alarms must be mains wired or sealed units with long life lithium batteries lasting up to 10 years.
  • The alarms must be interlinked (if one alarm detects a fire, all alarms will sound)
  • Any room with a carbon fuelled appliance (boiler, fire or flue) must have a carbon monoxide detector. This does not need to be linked to the fire and heat alarms.

Implications for homeowners

Every homeowner is responsible for ensuring that their property meets the minimum requirements of the Tolerable Standard. The Council has statutory powers to require owners to carry out work on housing that fails to meet the Tolerable Standard.

Any intervention we make must be reasonable, and there are no plans to take any formal action against owner occupiers where smoke and heat detectors is the only failure to meet the standard.

A free home fire safety visits from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service can be requested by calling 0800 0731999, text ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or visit their Home Fire Safety Visit web page.

Further guidance, including when financial help may be available, can be found in the Scottish Government fact sheet below.

The Building Standards & Public Safety Team within Protective Services will assist customers with any questions about the new requirements. Contact email for enquiries:

Supporting Material: