Andy Greenhorn, FireAngel’s Specification Manager, advises how contractors can support clients with the updated Scottish Tolerable Standard.
What types of housing will be affected by the new standard?
The latest regulations will affect all households across Scotland, including new build developments and existing dwellings. This includes both private and rented properties, which must comply with the new Standard by February 2021. An extension for the deadline to be moved to February 2022 is currently being reviewed by the Scottish government.
Please explain the requirements of the new standard
The updated Scottish Tolerable Standard requires all properties to have an interlinked fire and smoke alarm system. This must be supported by adequate carbon monoxide (CO) protection if there is a flue-burning appliance or flue present within the property.
Any existing alarms must also be reviewed under the new guidance to ensure they meet the revised criteria.
How many alarms will be required per property to achieve compliance?
In order to achieve compliance, a property must have one smoke alarm installed in the room most frequently used for general living purposes, such as the living room.
An additional smoke alarm must also be fitted in every circulation space on each storey, including hallways and landings, while a heat alarm should be installed in each kitchen. To comply with the latest regulations, all smoke and heat alarms should be ceiling mounted, long-life and interlinked.
Finally, a CO alarm must be installed in every room where there is a carbon-fuelled appliance, such as a boiler, fire or stove.
What type of alarms should you specify to facilitate interlinking?
Under the new regulations, both mains-powered or 10 year sealed long-life lithium battery powered alarms are suitable, as long as they facilitate either hardwired or wireless interlinking. To remain in line with the latest Scottish Regulations. the mains-powered alarms must comply with a Grade D1 Specification, while the battery powered alarms must meet the requirements of a Grade F1 Specification.
FireAngel’s Specification Range of mains powered and battery powered smoke, heat and CO alarms can support providers in achieving compliance with the new Standard, as the suite of devices can be interlinked together to form a hybrid network.
This is particularly useful for projects where hardwiring isn’t feasible, as the network can be quickly extended wirelessly, whilst also offering the opportunity for additional safety products to be added to the system at a later date.
The wireless interlinking of alarms can be achieved by simply fitting a Smart RF Radio Module into each device, interlinking up to 50 devices onto a private network so that when one alarm sounds, they all sound. This enhances protection and provides the earliest possible warning of a potential fire or CO event.
Why is this new standard being enforced?
The improved legislation outlined within the Housing (Scotland Act) and Scottish Housing Quality Standard is being enforced in response to the Grenfell Tower fire to help reduce deaths in household fires. It aims to provide individuals living within all types of properties with an increased level of protection.
FireAngel is proactively supporting contractors and housing associations in aiding Scottish clients to achieve compliance with the new Standard, regardless of their property type or size. This includes installation support, aftersales guidance and the supply of specific sales and training collateral, including dedicated point of sale at wholesalers, such as FSDUs.