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Publication - Research Publication

Fire and smoke alarms in Scottish homes consultation: analysis of responses

Published: 18 Mar 2018
Part of:
Housing, Public safety and emergencies, Research
ISBN:
9781788516976

Analysis of written responses to a consultation on fire and smoke alarms in Scottish homes.

67 page PDF

710.4kB

67 page PDF

710.4kB

Contents
Fire and smoke alarms in Scottish homes consultation: analysis of responses
Wider context

67 page PDF

710.4kB

Wider context

Other measures and approaches

Q15: We have outlined other measures and approaches we are planning to consider in future work. Is there anything else we should be including?

225. Sixty-eight respondents opted to answer this question, many of whom reiterated measures and approaches that were outlined in the consultation paper. These measures and approaches included:

  • Escape routes and systems.
  • A review of compartmentation.
  • Installation of fire doors
  • Fire stops.
  • Sealing of internal risers.
  • Inert cladding.
  • Access to fire extinguishers or an extinguisher in each property.
  • Emergency lighting in common areas, and the retrofitting of emergency lighting, especially in high rise buildings.
  • The removal of flammable materials and obstructions from common areas.
  • Connection of fire and smoke alarms to CCTV or concierge systems.

226. Some respondents referred to the need for additional standards for higher risk individuals such as disabled people, individuals in sheltered housing, retirement homes or care homes.

227. As at some previous questions, there were some calls for guidance on fire safety and fire prevention, or for an advertising campaign to highlight relevant fire safety issues.

228. A number of respondents referred to different types of technology that should be considered, the most frequently mentioned being sprinklers. A small number suggested that sprinklers should be compulsory in all new builds or in high rise flats.

229. There were also some calls for enforcement to be stringent. Three respondents in the residents association / tenant participation sub-group called for regular gas or electricity testing to include checks on fire and smoke alarms. A very small number of respondents noted their support for measures to penalise individuals who falsely set off alarms.

230. Another theme raised at this question by a small number of respondents was the need to provide some form of financial incentive, perhaps in the form of grants or loans to encourage individuals to meet the new minimum standard. Once again, there were a small number of suggestions that insurance companies could provide discounts on insurance premiums if certain measures such as sprinkler systems are fitted.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Q16: Do you think that there should be a new minimum standard for carbon monoxide detectors in (a) social rented and (b) owner occupied housing?

Social rented housing

Table 24: Question 16a

Yes No Don't know No reply
Housing Association (17) 13 2 - 2
Local Authority (13) 10 2 - 1
Lettings / residential lettings / property management (7) 6 - - 1
Residents association / tenant participation (7) 7 - - -
Fire risk / Safety consultant (6) 5 - 1 -
Other ( e.g. charities / health / professional organisations / manufacturer) (13) 13 - - -
Individuals (59) 52 1 3 3
Total (122) 106 5 4 7

Owner occupied housing

Table 25: Question 16b

Yes No Don't know No reply
Housing Association (17) 11 3 1 2
Local Authority (13) 11 2 - -
Lettings / residential lettings / property management (7) 4 1 1 1
Residents association / tenant participation (7) 7 - - -
Fire risk / Safety consultant (6) 4 1 1 -
Other ( e.g. charities / health / professional organisations / manufacturer) (13) 12 1 - -
Individuals (59) 42 7 6 4
Total (122) 91 15 9 7

231. As can be seen in Tables 24 and 25, a large majority of respondents were supportive of a new minimum standard for carbon monoxide detectors in both social rented housing and owner occupied housing.

232. Respondents were invited to explain their answers and 87 did so. Over half of these commented that it is important to focus on safety or that there should be parity of tenure across these sectors. A small number of respondents noted that this is already a requirement in the private rented sector; one respondent noted that this minimum standard should be extended to the commercial sector and another that this should be extended to the self-catering sector. A similarly small number also noted that some social landlords have already installed carbon monoxide detectors in their properties.

233. While there was general agreement of the need for carbon monoxide detectors, a small number of respondents noted that carbon monoxide detectors are only needed in properties where older carbon fuelled appliances are in place and that this minimum standard does not need to be applicable to all properties. A small number of respondents also noted that they should be placed in rooms where there are gas fires or gas boilers. As such, some respondents suggested that the installation of carbon monoxide detectors should be part of an annual gas check or when a new boiler is being installed. As these will not be applicable to all properties, a small number of respondents suggested that rather than having a new minimum standard for carbon monoxide detectors, the installation of these could be carried out under Gas Regulations.

234. Some respondents made reference to installation issues, with suggestions that all properties requiring a carbon monoxide detector should have these installed at the same time as a relevant appliance, when existing appliances are serviced or when fire and smoke detectors are being installed.

235. There were suggestions from a small number of respondents that these detectors should be hard-wired, connected to other detection devices such as smoke alarms or be in sealed units.

236. As at some previous questions, a small number of respondents suggested that an adequate period of time will be needed for social landlords to comply with the new minimum standard or that they will struggle to meet the proposed timescale.

237. A small number of respondents referred to the owner occupied sector specifically. There were comments that the statutory minimum standard should not be imposed on this sector and that this sector should be encouraged to install carbon monoxide detectors, rather than it being mandatory. There was also a perception that the choice should be made by each owner occupier as they are responsible for their own safety; the only exception to this being in mixed tenure blocks where failure to install carbon monoxide detectors might impact on other residents. Once again, there were also a very small number of comments regarding the difficulties of enforcing a new minimum standard in this sector.

238. There were few comments made specifically in relation to social landlords, although a very small number of respondents noted that social landlords have a responsibility for the safety of their tenants and that in some instances, these detectors will have already been installed.


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