All homes in Scotland must have interlinked fire alarms installed by February 1st, and opposition parties have warned the Scottish Government that time is running out.  

The law is being changed in response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, and is being made to protect homeowners and tenants.  

Labour claimed the new legislation had been beset by problems, including a lack of public awareness, affordability worries, and even a shortage of equipment - and have said it could make current home insurance "worthless".

But even with those those worries, and the cost of interlinked systems, it is feared that thousands of Scots have yet to adapt their dwellings to the new standard.  

What is an interlinked alarm? 

The new law requires a system of fire alarms and heat alarms which can communicate with each other and activate simultaneously in the event of one being triggered – and be heard throughout the house.  

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The system can either be run through wireless signals or linked through wiring, but it must be able to respond as a unit in the event of an emergency. 

HeraldScotland: Grenfell Tower

The law was introduced in the wake of the Grenfell disaster 

What type of system does the law call for? 

At the very least, smoke alarm must be fitted in a living room, with one in the hallway and a heat alarm in the kitchen. Alarms can be sealed battery or mains wired alarms. 

Scots who have a carbon fuelled appliance, such as a boiler, fire, heater or flue - in any room must also have a carbon monoxide detector, but it does not have to be linked to the fire alarms. 

Landlords must install the new system for private tenants. 

The Scottish Government said that work is ongoing to make sure that the homes of council and housing tenants meets the new standards. 

Battery alarms must be sealed tamper-proof units and have long-life lithium batteries which can be up to 10 years. These alarms can be fitted by yourself and do not require an electrician. 

READ MORE: New fire alarm laws to go ahead as planned despite insurance uncertainty

Mains-wired alarms, which are said to be cheaper, must be fitted by a qualified electrician and must be replaced every 10 years. 

Carbon monoxide alarms that are battery operated must have a sealed battery for the duration of its lifespan.  

HeraldScotland: Jessica Lewis from the fire service fits a smoke alarm during the campaign

Some alarm systems can be fitted DIY

What should you buy?

The Scottish Government said that there is no list of approved suppliers or fitters. Both types of alarm can be purchased online or in store from a number of retailers. 

Alarms must comply with the following standards: 

Smoke alarms - BS EN14604:2005 

Heat alarms - BS 5446-2:2003 

Carbon monoxide detector - British Kitemark EN 50291-1