By October 10, 2019 Read More →

New Fire & CO Alarm Guidance

Kiddehas launched new editions of its CPD discussion documents to help all those involved with housing rethink their approach to fire and carbon monoxide alarms.

In particular, they address issues raised by a new Code of Practice, wide-ranging requirements in Scotland and the continuing absence of improvements to English Building Regulations.

In an uncertain world, Kidde’s new CPD guides will help stockists understand the issues involved with fire and CO safety. One certainty today is that smoke, heat and CO alarms offer the first line of defence against fire or carbon monoxide in all types of housing, providing critical early warning at low costs. But the right provision of alarms, both to detect fire or CO, and also ensure that occupants are alerted throughout the home, is critical.

Here, Kidde’s independently certified ‘Guide to regulations & standards’ documents – one covering smoke and heat alarms, the other CO alarms – can help. In addition to reviewing current minimum requirements, topical issues and conflicts between the various current and proposed standards and regulations are addressed as ‘Talking Points’ to help readers question recommendations and make their own judgements.

For example, BS5839-6:2019, the new Code of Practice for fire alarm systems in housing, includes important changes focused on alarm system ‘Grades’ (the reliability of a system in terms of its power sources) and ‘Categories’ (in which areas smoke/heat alarms are required for detection). But conflicts with Building Regulations Approved Document B still remain.

The Scottish Government has also made major changes to the ‘Tolerable Standard’, applying to all housing tenures and taking effect from February 2021. In essence, the minimum safety standards currently in place for private rented properties will be extended to all other tenures, including social housing, and
owner-occupied homes. This means a system of interconnected smoke and heat alarms, including smoke alarms in principal living rooms and heat alarms in all kitchens, as well as smoke alarms in circulation areas on each storey.

In addition, CO alarms will also be required in all homes with combustion appliances. The Scottish requirements consider that: “it makes practical sense to combine installation programmes for smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms together”. This enlightened approach heralds the way for combining smoke, heat and CO alarms to provide more coverage and ensure that occupiers are awoken and alerted wherever they are in the property, whatever the risk. Kidde’s well-established Smart Interconnect facility was developed to meet this very need.

To download ‘Guide to regulations & standards’ documents visit: or to arrange a CPD presentation email: For more information on Kidde products, email: or call: 03337 722 227.

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