Guidance issued to strengthen fire safety for people who receive care or support

New guidance has been published to reduce the risk from fire in specialised housing, such as sheltered and supported accommodation.

Guidance issued to strengthen fire safety for people who receive care or support

Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Specialised Housing and Similar Premises aims to help those responsible for the housing and those who provide care and support services in such properties to carry out fire safety risk assessments, taking into account the requirements of individual residents.

Older people and people with physical, sensory or mental health issues are at increased risk of injury or death from fires.

For the guidance, specialised housing includes the following:

  • Sheltered / very sheltered / extra-care housing - mainly (but not exclusively) for older people living at home with different levels of care or support. This ranges from sheltered housing complexes with little on-site management to very sheltered or extra care premises with significant on-site, including 24-hour, care.
  • Supported housing - for people with physical, sensory, mental health or cognitive impairments. The degree of independent living and level of care varies considerably. Residents may live independently or in a group home setting in the community.

The guidance is a recommendation of the Review of the Fire Safety Regime in Scotland, following the fire at Grenfell Tower in 2017.

Community safety minister Ash Denham said: “While there has been a significant reduction in the number of fires and related deaths and injuries in domestic properties in the last 20 years, a disproportionate number of those involve older people or others with contributory factors such as physical, cognitive and mental health issues.

“We already have stringent regulations in place and it is extremely important that fire safety measures taken by those responsible for specialised housing meet the needs of the individuals living in them. This new guidance will help further reduce the risks of fire in order to keep our communities safe.”

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