Scottish government amends fire and smoke alarm regulations

Scottish government amends fire and smoke alarm regulations

THE REGULATIONS around fire and smoke alarms will be changed to ‘ensure all homes have the highest level of protection’ following the Grenfell Tower fire.

Belfast Telegraph, Evening Times and The Times all reported on the amended regulations, which will extend the ‘existing high standard’ required in private rented housing to all homes in Scotland. The Scottish government’s changes mean that private homes ‘must have at least one smoke alarm installed in the room most frequently used, at least one smoke alarm in spaces such as hallways and landings and at least one heat alarm in every kitchen’.

In addition, a carbon monoxide detector will also be required ‘in all homes’, all alarms will need to be ceiling mounted and interlinked, and there will be a ten year age limit. As part of the changes, The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 will be amended. The consultation began last September, and saw submissions from across the industry, including from BAFE.

Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: ‘Fires and fatalities from fires are decreasing but even one death is one too many. Scotland already has rigorous standards for smoke and fire alarms developed over time, with the highest standard currently applied to new-build and private rented housing.

‘The tragic events at Grenfell Tower last year emphasised how important building and fire safety is, which is why we brought forward our consultation on this issue. Now everyone will benefit from the same level of protection, whether you own your home, or rent from a social or private landlord.’

David McGown, assistant chief fire officer and director of prevention and protection for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, stated: ‘The presence of working smoke and heat detectors have been proven to significantly reduce casualties and fatalities occurring as a result of fires within the home. SFRS therefore welcome and support the next steps from this consultation which will undoubtedly improve home safety for all residents, regardless of tenure.’