What is an interlinked smoke alarm and why do you need one?

Interlinked smoke alarms revolutionised fire safety technology, as these devices are much more effective than traditional smoke alarms. The main difference between interlinked smoke alarms and older smoke alarms is that interlinked alarms connect to each other and form a network. 

This enables them to act as a single unit when a fire is detected on your property. For example, if your heat alarm in the kitchen detects a significant rise in temperature due to a fire, the alarm in your bedroom will notify you. In this article, we explore what interlinked smoke alarms are and why they are essential for Scottish residents.

What are interlinked smoke alarms?

Interlinked smoke alarms are ones that are connected to each other, either through hardwiring or radio-frequencies, to form a network. This enables them to act as a single unit when one alarm detects a threat in your home. If you are upstairs watching TV, for example, and a fire breaks out in your living room, an interlinked smoke alarm will send a signal upstairs to trigger the alarm near you.

With all alarms sounding at the same time, you are vastly more likely to hear it and be able to respond quickly. Considering most fatal house fires occur while residents are asleep, it’s no wonder that interlinked smoke alarms are becoming the new standard. Homeowners can sleep soundly knowing that they have a smoke alarm system that can detect fires anywhere in their house and sound an alarm throughout their house. 

Interlinked smoke alarms use one of the following mechanisms to connect to each other:

  • Hardwired (physically wired through the property)
  • Radio frequency (RF)
  • A mixed system of hardwired and RF alarms 

Nest Protect – which connect to each other using Wi-Fi smoke alarms are not suitable according to Scottish fire safety regulations. 

Why you need interlinked smoke alarms in Scotland

The Scottish authorities have made it mandatory for all homeowners to install interlinked smoke and heat alarms in their properties by February 2022. You must also install a carbon monoxide detector if your property contains any gas-fuelled appliances. 

Failure to do so by the deadline will result in legal action being taken against you, as it will be illegal to reside in a home that doesn’t have these safety measures in place after February. 

According to the new legislation, every residential home requires:

  • One smoke alarm in the living room or the room most frequently occupied.
  • One smoke alarm in every hallway or landing.
  • One heat alarm in the kitchen.
  • One carbon monoxide detector if you use carbon-fuelled appliances in your home. 

Failure to comply with these regulations will result in a penalty, so it’s essential that you cover all bases when installing an interlinked alarm system. To ensure you are following the regulations closely, use our survey as a means to assess your needs.

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