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New fire safety standards

By Fiona Reid

NEW rules to reduce deaths in household fires have been announced, with improved standards introduced for fire and smoke alarms in Scottish homes.

It means that from February 2021 every home in the country must have a smoke alarm fitted in the living room or lounge, and in circulation spaces such as hallways and landings. The changes also mean every kitchen must have a heat alarm, and the alarms will have to be interlinked so they can be heard throughout the property. There must also be a carbon monoxide alarm where there are fixed combustion appliances.

These standards currently apply to private rented property and new-builds but are now being extended to all homes in Scotland. The regulations come after a consultation carried out following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in London in June 2017.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart MSP said: “We are committed to achieving improved fire safety in homes across Scotland and we are clear that one death from residential fires is one too many.These new regulations ensure that everyone will benefit from the same high level of protection – whether they own their home or rent from a social or private landlord.”

Assistant Chief Officer David McGown, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, added: “The presence of working smoke and heat detectors has been proven to significantly reduce casualties and fatalities occurring as a result of fires within the home. Scottish Fire and Rescue Service therefore welcomes any change that improves safety in the home for all residents, regardless of tenure.”

It will be responsibility of the home owner or landlord to ensure the new fire and smoke alarm standards are met. Estimated costs are the region of £200, however this will vary according to what is already in place and the type of alarms used.


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