Smoke and heat alarms fall under the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) regulations. Under the regulations retailers pay a fee to allow their customers to take old smoke and heat alarms to their local recycling centre (Distributor Take-Back Scheme). To find your local recycling centre visit the recycle-more bank locator.
Ideally old smoke and heat alarms should be taken to local recycling centres for disposal. However, small numbers of alarms can be disposed of along with normal household refuse if your local recycling centre has no special smoke alarm arrangements. A common misunderstanding is that the crossed-out wheelie bin on the back of the alarm means that they must not be placed in a normal waste bin - this symbol actually just means that the alarm falls under the WEEE regulations.
Business customers cannot dispose of smoke alarms along with their normal refuse and should instead take them to their local recycling centre.
Reviewed: 05/02/2021 (doc:44 V1.0). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.