The Scottish Government announced that the new fire safety standards will apply to all homes in Scotland from 2021.
It is bringing in the new rules to curb fire deaths – following the Grenfell Tower block fire disaster in London .
Bringing the regulations forward introduces tougher safety standards. Many of which, already apply to new build homes and to private rented properties.
The Housing Minister urged families to be proactive and make any necessary changes as soon as possible.
However, the new fire safety regulations will not become mandatory for domestic properties until February 2021.
According to the new regulations, all domestic properties will need:
- At least one smoke alarm fitted in the main living room (or lounge).
- Alarms fitted in the hallways and landings.
- A heat alarm installed in the kitchen (with carbon monoxide detectors if the building has a boiler, fire, heater or a stove).
The standards say the alarms should be interlinked. Doing so, would mean they all get triggered in the event of a house fire.
Note: The Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety announced some extra measures to improve fire safety. They include extending the mandatory installation of sprinklers in new flats and the fitting of sound alerts for evacuation in high rise buildings.
Advice from the Housing Minister
The commitment we have is to achieve improved fire safety in homes across Scotland. Thus, one death from a residential fire is one death too many.
New regulations will help to ensure that everyone benefits from the same high level of protection. The rules apply to those who own their home and people who rent from a social or private landlord.
The standards come into full force from February 2021. Even so, the government prefers people to recognise the additional safety benefits of taking action sooner.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
There is quantifiable proof that the presence of working smoke and heat detectors save a significant number of lives each year. They reduce casualties and fatalities as a result of fires within domestic properties.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service welcomes any change that improves safety in the home for all residents. So, the same principle would apply no matter what tenure agreement individuals and families have.
Impact of COVID-19
The pandemic is likely to create difficulties for people seeking to install new smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in Scottish homes. As such, we are waiting for approval from the Scottish Parliament to delay the implementation of this legislation for a period of twelve (12) months.