Is It Compulsory To Have Interlinked Fire Alarms?
No matter what type of fire alarm you choose for your commercial premises, all of the components that create your system should be interlinked, from manual activation points to smoke alarms. This is often done with a central control panel that integrates the different aspects of the system, meaning that if a fire is detected in one part of the building, everyone can be notified at once.
However, is having interlinked fire alarms and smoke alarms a compulsory, legal requirement in the UK? The answer is slightly more complicated than you might imagine.
This month at Surrey Tech Services Ltd, we’re going to explore the topic of interlinked fire alarms in more detail to help highlight why they’re so important.
Is it a legal requirement to have interlinked fire alarms?
The legal aspect of interlinked smoke alarms and fire alarms even within the UK is different depending on where you are. For Scotland, having your smoke alarms and heat alarms interlinked became a legal requirement back in 2019 but was only officially put into place in 2022 due to the pandemic. This change was largely in response to the Grenfell Tower fire in which 71 people lost their lives.
For England and Wales, on the other hand, it is not yet a legal requirement in regulations, though it is still advised that they be interlinked for greater protection within properties.
What happens if you don’t get interlinked fire alarms?
For those in Scotland, it means that you are required by law to have your smoke alarms and heat alarms interlinked, although it’s not actually a criminal offence. Local authorities in Scotland will be responsible for enforcing this new legislation, but the government has stated that they will not be inspecting from home to home to check this, and will therefore not be able to issue a fine.
What happens if my fire alarms aren’t currently interlinked?
If your current fire alarm systems in commercial premises are not interlinked, such as your heat detectors and smoke detectors, it’s likely that you aren’t meeting the standards set out by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to have adequate detection in place to protect those in your building. This is a criminal offence and something you should address immediately. You can find out if your system meets the legal requirements via an inspection from fire safety experts.
For domestic premises, while there aren’t any criminal repercussions, even in Scotland where legislation has changed, it could impact your home insurance policy if you don’t comply with the insurer’s terms and conditions. It’s also in the interest of safety for everyone in the house for you to have an interlinked alarm system.
Whether you’re a landlord with a portfolio of properties or you operate commercial premises, if you need help navigating your responsibilities for fire safety – specifically concerning fire alarms and the relevant legislation based on where you’re located in London and the Home Counties – then look no further.
At Surrey Tech Services Ltd, we’re experts in fire alarm systems, advising you on the right set-up for your building to help safeguard lives and protect your assets in line with building regulations, British Standard recommendations and the law. Call us today for a free site visit, expert advice or to get a quote from our friendly team.