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Publication - Consultation Paper

Fire and smoke alarms in Scottish homes consultation: interim equality impact assessment

Published: 26 Sep 2017
Part of:
Housing, Public safety and emergencies
ISBN:
9781788512602

Assessment published in connection with consultation on new standards for fire and smoke alarms in Scottish housing across all tenures.

26 page PDF

278.3kB

26 page PDF

278.3kB

Contents
Fire and smoke alarms in Scottish homes consultation: interim equality impact assessment
Stage 4: Decision making and monitoring

26 page PDF

278.3kB

Stage 4: Decision making and monitoring

Identifying and establishing any required mitigating action

Have positive or negative impacts been identified for any of the equality groups? No negative impacts have been identified for any of the equality groups. The policy proposal should be of benefit to all people living in houses in Scotland especially those living in the social rented sector and owner occupiers.
Is the policy directly or indirectly discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010 [5] ? There is no evidence that the policy is directly or indirectly discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010.
If the policy is indirectly discriminatory, how is it justified under the relevant legislation?  
If not justified, what mitigating action will be undertaken?  

Describing how Equality Impact analysis has shaped the policy making process

The equality impact analysis has helped to highlight areas where we have limited evidence on people with particular protected characteristics. It has therefore helped to shape our plans for engagement during the consultation so that we consult with representatives of these people, as well as representatives of people with other protected characteristics, to ensure that there are no unintended consequences from the proposed regulations for people with protected characteristics. The results of this engagement will feed into the policy and will be outlined in the final EQIA.

There have been no implications for costs of resources arising from the EQIA analysis, though we will also engage with the stakeholder working group and wider interests to consider cost, timing and enforcement implications as part of the consultation phase.

Positive impacts from the proposed changes to the SHQS and Tolerable Standard:

  • All people living in Scotland’s houses, including those with protected characteristics as outlined above, could potentially benefit from the implementation of proposed changes to these housing standards. People living in the social rented sector and owner occupiers are likely to benefit most.
  • Positive impacts include people feeling safer in their homes as a result of the current highest fire and smoke alarm requirements being extended to other housing standards. Implementation of the new fire and smoke requirements, has the potential to help reduce the number of fires in people’s homes.

Negative impacts from the proposed changes to the SHQS and Tolerable Standard:

  • There will be some small-scale monetary costs associated with the installation of fire alarms (see accompanying BRIA for details on these), which will fall to owners of properties. However, these must be set against the benefits from greater safety, as set out above. The costs for owners with protected characteristics will be the same as for owners without protected characteristics.
  • Changes to these standards will result in some disruption to tenants and owner occupiers as necessary installation works are carried out. People with certain protected characteristics, such as disabled and older people, may be adversely affected more than others. Where possible, we would encourage social landlords to carry out work while properties are void.

The EQIA has looked at whether there would be any disproportionate effects on people with protected characteristics. We do not expect there to be but will engage with representative groups during the consultation.

Evidence gathered will help inform the final EQIA which will be completed at the end of the consultation period.

Monitoring and Review

In relation to social housing - the Scottish Social Housing Charter requires social landlords to ensure that their houses comply with the Scottish Housing Quality Standard ( SHQS), this will include any new fire and smoke alarm requirements.

The Regulator has powers to intervene if it is concerned that a landlord is failing to meet this performance standard. The Scottish Government’s view is that the Regulator provides sufficient enforcement for any change to the standard required in respect of smoke and fire alarms in social housing.

In relation to owner occupied housing – options for enforcement in private housing are outlined in the consultation document. They include existing local authority powers to take action if houses fall below the tolerable standard and owners being required to provide assurance at point of sale.

In relation to tenements or blocks of flats – an approach may be to introduce a duty on owners of tenements to provide evidence of compliance with a standard for fire and smoke alarms.

Other options are outlined in the consultation document, responses to questions posed will help inform appropriate enforcement in each case.


Contact

Email: Agnes Meany, agnes.meany@gov.scot

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG