Fire safety in your home

All homes in Scotland must have interlinked fire and smoke alarms. If you rent your home, your landlord is responsible for these. Tell your landlord if your home is not fire safe, and get help from the council if they do not make it right.

Fire and smoke alarms

All rented and privately owned homes must have:

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

  • one smoke alarm in every hallway or landing

  • one heat alarm in the kitchen

Each alarm should be installed on the ceiling and interlinked. Interlinked means if one goes off, they all go off.

If you have a fuel-burning appliance, like a boiler or fire, there must be a carbon monoxide detector in that room. It does not need to be interlinked.

If you rent your home, your landlord must provide and maintain the alarms and detectors.

Your landlord's responsibilities

Fire resistant furniture

All furniture your landlord provides must be fire resistant. It should have a fire safety label to show this.

If there’s no fire safety label, your landlord should replace the item of furniture.

Fire safety in an HMO (house of multiple occupation)

An HMO is shared by 3 or more people who are members of more than 2 families.

As well as fire alarms, smoke alarms and fire safe furniture, an HMO must have:

  • a fire escape route

  • fire-resistant doors that lead to the escape route

  • fire extinguishers and fire blankets

It’s your landlord’s responsibility to provide and maintain these.

There must be at least one fire extinguisher on each floor, and a fire blanket in every shared kitchen. It’s up to your landlord to check these regularly. Make sure you know how to use them in case of an emergency.

If you think your home is not fire safe

Report it to your landlord

If your home is not fire safe and it’s your landlord’s responsibility, write to your landlord and ask them to put it right.

Follow our guidance on:

Report it to environmental health if your landlord will not help

Contact the council’s environmental health team if you rent from:

  • a private landlord

  • a letting agent

  • a housing association

Tell them about the fire hazards in your home and that your landlord is not sorting it out.

Use our template letter for contacting environmental health to help you know what to say.

As fire hazards are a danger to your health, the council can order your landlord to put it right.

If you rent from the council, environmental health will usually only get involved if:

  • you have already been through the council's official complaints procedure

  • the problem is affecting your health or making your home unfit for you to live in

Get a home fire safety visit if you own your home

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service offers a free home fire safety visit to anyone.

A home fire safety visit will help you make a fire escape plan and give you information about smoke, heat and carbon monoxide alarms.

Book a fire safety visit

What happens after a fire

Repairs

Your landlord is responsible for doing repairs to your home after a fire.

Staying somewhere else during repairs

If you cannot live in your home after a fire, ask your landlord to give you somewhere temporary to stay. It should be covered by their insurance.

If they do not give you somewhere else to stay, make a homeless application to the council. They can give you somewhere temporary to live until your home is safe to move back into.

The council can help you find somewhere permanent to live if you need to move out.

Getting compensation after a fire

If the fire was someone’s fault, you can take legal action for injuries or damaged belongings.

Citizens Advice has guidance on claiming compensation for personal injuries.

Get legal advice from a solicitor or from Citizens Advice if you want to claim compensation.

Keeping your home fire safe

To reduce the risk of fire in your home:

  • unplug electrical appliances that are not in use

  • do not overload electrical adaptors with too many plugs

  • do not cover heaters with towels or laundry

  • do not smoke in bed

Go to GOV.UK for more guidance on fire safety in your home.

Plan a fire escape route

Make sure everyone in your home knows the escape route if there's a fire. Always keep the escape route clear.

Make sure any house keys are easily found and that everyone knows where they are.

Last updated: 29 June 2022

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England