Homeowners warned over risk of ‘scammers’ ahead of new legislation on alarms

TRADE body SELECT has joined the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS) to warn that heat, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms being fitted under new legislation must comply with the relevant product standards.

The joint alert about ‘sub-standard and potentially unsafe’ products comes ahead of the February 2022 deadline for compliance with new Scottish Government guidance for all Scottish homes.

The warning echoes guidance from SELECT and SCOTSS about what householders and landlords should do to comply with the new rules – and why they should use a competent person, such as a professional electrician, to carry out installation work.

SCOTSS chair, Graeme Paton, said, “This is a major change to what is required in terms of fire and CO detection in dwellings and we must get the message across that all new and existing systems have to be wholly compliant. There is a risk of scammers taking advantage of this situation so we would also urge householders to only use genuine SELECT members or local firms that are approved by Trading Standards to do this work.”

SCOTSS is advising all homeowners to make sure all alarms are labelled and marked with the manufacturer’s name and address; batch code/date of manufacture; model number and type; and relevant standard number for the type of alarm installed.

Bob Cairney, director of technical services at SELECT, added, “The clock is ticking. February will be upon us before we know it and it is of the utmost importance that both householders and those installing the alarms clearly understand what is required for compliance. SCOTSS has rightly warned consumers of the danger that unscrupulous people might try to take advantage of those who are unsure about how to comply and about the need to use trusted sources of information.

“For mains-powered alarms or where householders need help to install battery-powered alarms, we would ask that they use a qualified electrician, with SELECT able to put them in touch with their nearest professional.”