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Normally I would install mains supplied and interconnected smoke and heat alarms in a rented property or in any alteration but I have a customer convinced that battery ones with radio link is acceptable. Any installs I do normally state wired, interconnected to be installed but an other spark has told him battery with radio link is acceptable.
I have asked the customer to check the requirements with the local council and to forward any communications to me as if this is the case it could save a lot of time and cost to other customers but I'm not sure if someone is blowing smoke up his rear end and trying to cut corners.
I could only find the Scottish landlord standard below ( check the last 2 lines)

as normal any guidance welcome ( not nasty but taking the p$£s acceptable)


Landlords in Scotland must ensure that all properties let to tenants have a carbon monoxide detector fitted regardless of when the tenancy started.
Landlords should have a long-life battery or mains-powered detector (which complies with British Standards and European directives) in each room housing a carbon-based fuel appliance (excluding those used solely for cooking) and in any living room or bedroom if a flue from these appliances runs through it.
By law, landlords must provide fire-detection equipment for each property and there should be at least:
  • One working smoke alarm in the room which is frequently used by tenants for daytime living purposes.
  • One functioning smoke alarm in every circulation space, such as hallways and landings.
  • One heat alarm in every kitchen
  • All alarms should be interlinked.
Smoke alarms installed since 3 September 2007 must be mains powered, with all battery-powered fire alarms required to be hardwired when they are replaced.
For more information, take a look at the official Scottish Government guidance.
 
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Simon47

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Arms
AFAICT, battery powered is OK - the regs simply state (for England) that there must be a smoke alarm on every floor, and a CO alarm in any room normally used for occupation and containing a solid fuel appliance. They must also be interlinked.
Personally I would not even consider installing battery ones unless it was a last resort - and I think it would be rare to find a room requiring an alarm where it's not practical to get a mains supply for it.

I would also go for mains interlinked rather than radio if at all possible - though that can be a bit harder if retrofitting. Earlier this year I upgraded our rental flat so instead of just the one smoke alarm, it's now got a smoke alarm in the main flat, a combination CO/Heat alarm in the kitchen (with gas hob), and a heat alarm in the garage underneath (Aico 3000 range) - with a test/locate/silence switch near the CU in a cupboard off the lounge.
While the kitchen ceiling was down (thanks to a leak in the flat above), I took the opportunity to do some fishing so the smoke and CO/heat are mains interlinked. The switch is mains interlinked with the heat detector down in the garage. But I had to radio link between these two as I think it would have been too difficult fishing in a new cable from the CU to the existing alarm point - about 12 feet but an L shaped run and limited access everywhere. The radio modules were a very significant part of the overall cost :rolleyes:

One of the reasons I'd really try and avoid battery is that tenants will not replace them, and they are prone to removing them. They'll remove mains powered units as well, but that takes a more definite effort to do. On one occasion, doing an inspection I spotted the smoke alarm had been removed. Reason given by the tenant ? "It was beeping and annoying me" - but they couldn't be ****ed to tell me or the agent about it :mad:

BTW - the Aico Audiolink is a neat idea, tells you a lot about what's been going on.
 

JK-Electrical

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Arms
Esteemed
Normally I would install mains supplied and interconnected smoke and heat alarms in a rented property or in any alteration but I have a customer convinced that battery ones with radio link is acceptable.
Your customer is correct. Interlinkable, battery-operated smoke and heat alarms are indeed acceptable so long as they have a 10-year lithium battery, not a PP3, and are tamper-proof.

Wherever possible, I too will install mains-operated, interlinked smoke and heat alarms in private rented accommodation. However, if holes have to be made in walls and ceilings as often is the case with alarm installs in private lets, or if runs of mini-trunking are necessary, then it'll be battery-operated smoke and heat alarms that are installed every time.
Any installs I do normally state wired, interconnected to be installed but an other spark has told him battery with radio link is acceptable.
The other spark is correct.
I have asked the customer to check the requirements with the local council and to forward any communications to me as if this is the case it could save a lot of time and cost to other customers but I'm not sure if someone is blowing smoke up his rear end and trying to cut corners.
The information that the customer has been given is correct. No smoke is being blown and no corners are being cut.:)
I could only find the Scottish landlord standard below ( check the last 2 lines)

as normal any guidance welcome ( not nasty but taking the p$£s acceptable)
The guidance below is what you need to be looking at. These changes came into effect earlier this year:

Fire and smoke alarms: changes to the law:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/fire-and-smoke-alarms-in-scottish-homes

From this guidance:

While building standards recommend mains operated devices with battery back-up for building work in certain circumstances, tamper proof long-life lithium battery operated devices may be the preferred option for home owners. Section 10 of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 provides a degree of flexibility when applying the building regulations to alterations, extensions and conversions, and it could be considered that a sealed long-life battery operated system that is interlinked via radio frequency can provide an equal or in some cases, higher level of protection than is required through Building Regulations. Local authority building standards verifiers should take a pragmatic approach when applying the non-mandatory guidance to alterations, extensions and conversions, as contained in the technical handbooks.

Fire and smoke alarms: tolerable standard guidance:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/fire-and-smoke-alarms-tolerable-standard-guidance

From the tolerable standard guidance:

16.6 Mains-operated alarms (with battery backup) are permitted, and tamper proof long-life lithium battery alarms (i.e. not PP3 type or user-replaceable) are also permitted.
 

Simon47

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Arms
Interestingly, I just happened to be having a look at Approved Document B1 - it's Fire Door Safety week.
In Section 1: Fire detection and alarm systems it states (emphasis in bold is mine) :
General provisions
1.1 All dwellings should have a fire detection and alarm system, minimum Grade D2 Category LD3 standard, in accordance with the relevant recommendations of BS 5839-6.
A higher standard of protection should be considered where occupants of a proposed dwelling would be at special risk from fire. Further advice on this is also given in BS 5839-6.
1.2 Smoke alarms should be mains operated and conform to BS EN 14604.
1.3 Heat alarms should be mains operated and conform to BS 5446-2.
1.4 Smoke and heat alarms should have a standby power supply, such as a battery (rechargeable or non-rechargeable) or capacitor. More information on power supplies is given in clause 15 of BS 5839-6.


So while this is only guidance and not regulation or law, you would need a good reason for departing from the guidance and be prepared to justify that in a court of law should the manure hit the fan. So if asked to fit battery powered alarms, the response would have to be "have you done a risk assessment and justification for departing from the requirements of Approved Document B1 ?", followed by "and can you satisfy me that I won't end up in court as an accessory ?". I suspect that in most cases the response will be "eh ?" o_O

A perfect example of why you can't take one regulation (requirements for smoke/CO detectors in rented properties) in isolation - ie without also considering other requirements laid down elsewhere.
 

Simon47

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Arms
Why ? Don't you think people in (say) a bedroom shouldn't be alerted if there's a high level of CO in the property ?
 

multimick

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Arms
Esteemed
it's deffo not recommended (ask aico) because people could think its a smoke going off when in fact it's a CO,thats why they have different sounds
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
MINEFIELD then
To keep myself right I have asked the customer to get the guidelines from the council that regulate that area as I would prefer to fit mains type detectors but as normal and being a flat trunking would be req and he doesn't want that. I just want to keep myself right so I will wait on his reply with the local guidelines.
 

Simon47

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Arms
it's deffo not recommended (ask aico) because people could think its a smoke going off when in fact it's a CO,thats why they have different sounds
They never suggested that when I was checking some details with them.
It is, however, annoying that if you radiolink them then all the alarms will use the different sounds - but if you mains link them, they don't. At least, that's how I read the blurb.
 

littlespark

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Arms
Esteemed
Advent Win
hey never suggested that when I was checking some details with them.
It is, however, annoying that if you radiolink them then all the alarms will use the different sounds - but if you mains link them, they don't. At least, that's how I read the blurb

I spoke to an aico rep about that, and he just said that’s how the units send a signal to each other under alarm conditions.
Hardwired, it’s just a 2 step voltage, so all alarms sound the same whether smoke, heat or Co...
With the radiolink technology, they send a specific pulse pattern from different types of alarm.

Audiolink is the devils 56k modem sound.
Think old computer loading from cassette, but at the volume of a smoke detector
 

Simon47

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Arms
I wouldn't have thought it was beyond the wit of man to come up with a hardwiring interlink that was compatible with the older units, but added new features.
As for Audiolink, yes it's a horrible noise. Not only that, but with one hand holding your phone, there's only one left for sticking fingers into ears :eek:
 
It depends if it is new build/ materially altered or existing property and the occupancy type and risk

if new build or materially altered (I.e. needs building regs sign off) then approved document b applies and you need mains powered detectors in the locations specified in the latest revision of 5389 from about May this year.

for existing properties battery powered and interlinked is fine, I can’t remember the wording but I believe the lithium battery and tamper proof only applies to rental property or in Scotland ( not sure about wales) - I would only fit something like the aico 650rf which is a 10year lithium In any case.

the 650 was launched to address the new regs in Scotland that require a greater level of protection without the need for lots of rework.

Aico also does a handy remote control to silence the alarms that also tells you visually whether it’s a CO or Smoke/Heat, and gets around the accessibility requirements for silencing if high ceilings.

I’ve done a few Airbnb and student flats where smoke detectors have been fitted in every room to deter smoking even if not needed to be compliant.

Paul
 
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