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Update to Smoke Detector Guidance issued by Scottish Government and the PRHP

This article discusses the update to the guidance issued by the Scottish Government in relation to smoke detectors under the Repairing Standard legislation. The Private Rented Housing Panel (PRHP) has now updated the guidance available on their website in light of this change.

In summary the revised Domestic Technical Handbook guidance states there should be at least:

  • one functioning smoke alarm in the room(s) which are 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,
  • and all alarms should be interlinked.

This revision is a significant increase from the previous guidance which stated there must be a minimum of one smoke detector per floor.  If more than one is present they should be interlinked.

The Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) have advised that properties which do not meet the new guidance should be upgraded as soon as is reasonably practical.

Installing and Interlinking detectors in living rooms, hallways, landings and kitchens could potentially constitute a considerable cost to landlords.  SAL are currently campaigning for a change in the wording of the Repairing Standard to prevent constant onerous updates whenever there is a change to the building standards regulation.

There is a lot of talk about this new guidance in the private rented sector and a certain number of landlords are waiting to see if there will be change to the wording of the guidance before committing to expensive new fire detection systems.

1LET advises all of our landlords to protect themselves should a fire cause injury or death in their rented property.  Landlords wishing to comply with the new guidance immediately should contact 1LET for further information.

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