Free fire safety checks

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Ahead of new fire safety legislation due to come into force in Scotland in 2021, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) are offering residents a free fire safety check which will include the free fitting of smoke alarms if required.

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower blaze which killed 71 people, the government is amending the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 to update the requirement for ceiling-mounted smoke and heat alarms in all homes, not just privately rented or new-build housing.

This new policy, supported by the fire service, will apply owner-occupier homes to the same fire safety standard currently applied to privately rented property.

In practical terms, the law, which comes into force from 01 February 2021, will require private homes to 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, at least one heat alarm in every kitchen and a carbon monoxide detector.

In addition, there will be a 10-year age limit for alarms and all will have to be ceiling-mounted and should be interlinked.

Arran’s MSP Kenneth Gibson said: ‘Fires and fatalities from fires have been steadily decreasing in Scotland, but even one avoidable death is one too many.

‘Scotland already has rigorous standards for smoke and fire alarms in private and local authority rented housing. It’s time owner-occupiers benefited from the same high standards.

‘I encourage islanders to get their homes ready for the new standards now, to ensure their homes are as safe as possible and compliant before 2021.’

Assistant chief officer David McGown, SFRS added: ‘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.’

As part of SFRS’s commitment to building a safer Scotland, they are offering everyone in Scotland a free home fire safety visit, during which they can also fit smoke alarms free of charge if your home requires them.

To arrange your free home fire safety visit, please contact SFRS by telephone on 0800 0731 999, text FIRE to 80800, or visit www.firescotland.gov.uk/your-safety/hfsv-form.aspx