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Do the new smoke alarm rules for Scotland affect my home insurance?

From February 2022 all homes in Scotland must be fitted with interlinked smoke detectors, and it's got some people wondering how this might affect their home insurance.

Smoke rising
Smoke detectors can buy vital time to escape house fires

What are the new rules?

Following the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in 2017, a new law was drafted for Scotland and it kicks in from 1st February 2022. It says that all homes in Scotland must have:

  • one smoke alarm in the living room or the room you use most

  • one smoke alarm in every hallway or landing

  • one heat alarm in the kitchen

All smoke and heat alarms should be mounted on the ceiling and be interlinked.

The duty to meet the requirements falls on the homeowner. Tenanted properties are the responsibility of the landlord.

What about my home insurance?

Fire is one of the major perils covered by standard home insurance. And of course smoke detectors don't prevent fire occurring, they just indicate that one has maybe started. Being safe in the home is obviously the main priority here, and having working smoke detectors helps towards achieving that level of safety.

Many home insurance companies will ask about smoke detectors when you get a quote. As always, it's key you answer this question correctly. A home insurer may be unlikely to decline you cover if you don't have smoke detectors (whether you live in Scotland or elsewhere in the UK) but they are more than likely to take note if it turns out your home hasn't got smoke detectors when you said it did and that could lead to claims being turned down and policies being declared void.

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