Aberdeen Fire Safety Regulations: Essential Compliance Guide

A smoke alarm against a backdrop of Aberdeen city
by SIA Site Admin // July 11

Fire safety regulations are crucial in ensuring the safety of residents and preventing damage to properties. In Aberdeen, the Aberdeen City Council has implemented specific fire safety arrangements to protect people living in multi-storey buildings, such as amenity and sheltered housing schemes. These arrangements include a detailed fire safety policy, procedures, and an Emergency Fire Action Plan to mitigate the risks associated with potential fires in such buildings [1].

To further aid residents, the Aberdeen City Council provides guidance on multi-storey fire safety and emphasises the importance of working smoke detectors in individual homes [2]. Additionally, the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service offers various safety leaflets on different aspects of fire safety, such as stairwell safety, electrical safety, and home fire safety checklists [3].

In line with this, the Scottish government has introduced new fire safety standards for homes across Scotland, mandating the installation of smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide alarms in all domestic properties. These measures aim to reduce the number of deaths due to household fires and provide a safer living environment for residents [4].

Aberdeen Fire Safety Regulations

The Aberdeen Fire Safety Regulations are in place to ensure the health and safety of the occupants or users of buildings and structures, as well as the general public. These regulations are enforceable under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006.

The 2015 edition of the International Fire Code has been amended and adopted as the Aberdeen Fire Code (AMC 15.70), which is enforced by the Aberdeen Fire Department. This department ensures that fire safety standards are maintained and helps to reduce the risk of fire-related incidents.

Compliance with the chapter 51-54A WAC is a crucial aspect of the Aberdeen Fire Safety Regulations. This includes key guidelines for fire prevention:

  • Responsible burning: Fires must be extinguished if smoke, odour, or ash negatively impacts neighbours or causes a nuisance. No fires are allowed during times of extreme fire danger.
  • Multi-storey fire safety: Occupants should avoid smoking in communal areas, storing items in drying rooms, corridors, or stairwells, and letting strangers into buildings. More details can be found on the Aberdeen multi-storey fire safety page.

Employers and occupiers of premises, where events take place, are also obligated to adhere to the Fire Safety Regulations. Following these regulations significantly contributes to safe environments and reduces the risk of fire-related incidents in Aberdeen.

Fire and Smoke Protection

Aberdeen, like the rest of Scotland, has implemented strict fire safety regulations to ensure the safety and security of its residents. The Scottish Building Regulations set the standard for multi-storey buildings, designed to prevent fire and smoke from spreading. Such regulations apply to all domestic properties, including the requirement of smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide alarms (source).

In terms of multi-storey fire safety, Aberdeen City Council continually inspects its properties to guarantee they meet the necessary safety standards. This involves ensuring that the materials and fittings within a multi-storey building are designed to restrict the spread of fire and smoke. All over-cladded buildings in the city comply with the Scottish Building Regulations (source).

To further enhance fire and smoke safety, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) offers Home Fire Safety Visits to residents. These visits aim to assess home fire safety risks, provide tailored advice, and guide the selection and installation of smoke and heat alarms. The SFRS can be contacted via phone or text message to request a Home Fire Safety Visit (source).

For professional fire safety services, local companies such as Realm Fire & Security operate within Aberdeen and the surrounding areas. They offer a range of services, including fire risk assessments, fire alarm systems, and fire extinguisher maintenance. Choosing a reliable and reputable service provider is crucial to ensure the proper implementation of fire safety measures (source).

In summary, the key to fire and smoke protection in Aberdeen lies in following the established regulations and guidelines, regularly inspecting properties, and seeking expert advice when needed. Being proactive and prioritising safety can go a long way in preventing disastrous events and creating a secure living environment.

Aberdeen Fire Department

The Aberdeen Fire Department is responsible for promoting health, safety, and welfare of the occupants or users of buildings and structures, and the general public in the city of Aberdeen. They enforce the Aberdeen Fire Code and the Aberdeen Fire Prevention Code.

Fire Safety Visit

A Fire Safety Visit is an essential service provided by the Aberdeen Fire Department, aiming to educate and inform residents about fire safety measures. During a Fire Safety Visit, the fire department team will assess your property for potential fire risks, address your concerns regarding fire safety, and provide guidance on how to prevent fires and ensure the safety of your household.

To schedule a Fire Safety Visit, you can call 360-537-3264. The fire department staff will guide you through the process and arrange for a suitable time to visit your property. Be confident that you will receive knowledgeable advice from a neutral and clear source to help improve fire safety in your home.

Home Fire Safety Visit

The Home Fire Safety Visit is a more focused version of the Fire Safety Visit. During this visit, the fire department personnel will thoroughly assess the fire safety of your home. They will provide suggestions on how to minimise fire hazards, install or maintain smoke alarms, and create an escape plan in case of emergencies.

Just like the Fire Safety Visit, you can schedule a Home Fire Safety Visit by calling 360-537-3264. The Aberdeen Fire Department is committed to providing residents with clear and concise guidance on improving fire safety in their homes, making the community a safer place for everyone.

Building and Occupant Safety

Fire Escape Plan

A well-prepared fire escape plan plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety of a building’s occupants. Aberdeen City Council recognises the importance of complying with fire safety legislation, including the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 (as amended) and the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006. These regulations contain requirements for fire safety risk assessments and obligations of duty. Building managers are responsible for developing clear and easily understood emergency exit routes, as well as ensuring regular practice drills for occupants.

Residents should be educated on the proper use of fire doors, which are designed to not only restrict the spread of fire but also provide protected escape routes. Additionally, it is essential to designate a safe meeting point for occupants outside the building to allow for accurate headcounts and assistance for any unaccounted individuals.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Carbon monoxide (CO) poses a significant risk to the health and welfare of building occupants. The Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 require the installation of CO alarms in residential buildings, ensuring early detection and alerting residents to the presence of this deadly gas. These alarms must be installed in accordance with the guidelines set out by the regulations and properly maintained for optimal performance.

In addition to CO alarms, it is recommended that building managers educate occupants on the importance of regular boiler and gas appliance servicing. Ensuring that these appliances are functioning correctly minimises the risk of CO leaks and further safeguards the welfare of the building’s users.

By implementing comprehensive fire escape plans and installing carbon monoxide alarms, buildings in Aberdeen can provide a safe and secure environment for their community of residents.

Permits and Requirements

Permit Program

The City of Aberdeen enforces fire safety regulations through a permit program, ensuring compliance with zoning, building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and fuel gas codes, as well as local, state, and federal laws. The permits are required for various activities, including the installation of fire pits and fire rings. To acquire more information about the permit program, you can email the City of Aberdeen Fire Department or call them at 360-537-3264.

Permit Submittal Requirements

To submit a permit application, applicants must adhere to specific requirements which may include providing details such as location, dimensions, materials used, and more. For more information on the permit submittal requirements, you can email the Permit Technician or call them at 360-537-3217. It is crucial to ensure all relevant documents and information are provided to prevent delays or rejections of the application.

Pricing

The cost of obtaining a permit may vary depending on the specific project and its complexity. As the permit pricing may change over time, it is best to contact the Permit Technician at 360-537-3217 to get accurate and up-to-date information. By adhering to the permitting process and pricing structures, citizens assist in maintaining fire safety throughout the City of Aberdeen.

Fire Prevention Services

In Aberdeen, fire prevention services are provided by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS). They offer a variety of services and resources to the general public to ensure fire safety is maintained across the region.

One of the key services offered is the Home Fire Safety Visit, where SFRS officers visit homes to assess fire safety risks and provide personalised advice. To arrange a visit, residents can contact the SFRS on 0800 0731 999 or by texting “FIRE” to 80800 from a mobile phone.

In addition to in-person visits, the SFRS also provides a range of online resources such as safety leaflets. These cover a variety of fire safety topics, from general information to specific advice for different property types. They can be downloaded in PDF format and are designed to be easily understood by the general public.

Businesses and event organisers in Aberdeen must also comply with fire safety regulations to protect employees, customers, and attendees. Under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006, employers and occupiers of premises must carry out regular fire risk assessments and implement necessary fire safety measures.

The SFRS is committed to fostering a culture of fire safety within the community by regularly engaging with residents, businesses, and local organisations to deliver crucial safety information. By working together, we can continue to maintain high levels of fire safety in Aberdeen and its surrounding areas.

Recent Changes to Regulations

In an effort to improve fire safety, new regulations have been introduced in Aberdeen. The Building Scotland (Amendment) Regulations 2022 were published in May 2022 and brought significant changes to the fire safety standards in both domestic and non-domestic buildings 1. These regulations primarily focus on external wall systems and include amendments to Section 0 (general), Section 2 (fire) and Appendix A (defined terms) in the technical handbooks 2.

Another important aspect of these regulations is the implementation of sound alerts for evacuation in high-rise buildings and the extension of mandatory installation of sprinklers in new flats 3. These measures were announced by the Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety to further enhance the safety level in Scottish homes.

In accordance with the Aberdeen Fire Code (AMC 15.70), the city has also adopted the 2015 Edition of the International Fire Code (IFC) by chapter 51-54A WAC. This code aims to promote the health, safety and welfare of occupants in buildings and structures as well as the general public 4. The code covers various fire safety aspects, including accessibility, water supply and fire protection systems.

It is essential for all existing and new structures to comply with these recent changes in regulations to ensure the safety of both occupants and the general public. By adhering to the updated guidelines, property owners and managers can contribute to creating a safer environment for everyone in Aberdeen.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key points of Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2022?

The Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2022 establishes a framework for fire safety management in non-domestic buildings. Key points include conducting regular fire risk assessments, installing appropriate fire detection and alarm systems, implementing effective fire safety measures, and ensuring clear emergency exit routes.

What guidance does the Scottish Government provide on fire safety?

The Scottish Government provides comprehensive guidance on fire safety through their Fire Safety Guidance for Non-Domestic Premises document. This guide covers topics such as fire risk assessments, fire safety policies, staff training, and the responsibilities of building owners and occupiers. More information can be found here.

Which fire safety checklist does SFRS recommend?

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) recommends using their fire safety checklist for identifying potential hazards and ensuring compliance with regulations. This checklist covers various aspects of fire safety such as electrical systems, emergency lighting, fire exits, and firefighting equipment. You can find the checklist here.

What are the main requirements of Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006?

The Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 set out the requirements for non-domestic premises to undertake fire risk assessments, maintain fire safety measures, provide staff training, and cooperate with local fire authorities. These regulations aim to reduce the risk of fire and ensure the safety of building occupants and the public.

How can one complete a fire safety check in Scotland?

To complete a fire safety check in Scotland, individuals should conduct a thorough fire risk assessment, addressing potential fire hazards, implementing necessary safety measures, and maintaining records of actions taken. Engaging a qualified fire safety professional to assist with this process is recommended to ensure compliance with regulations.

What non-domestic fire regulations apply in Scotland?

In Scotland, non-domestic fire safety is regulated by the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006, and other associated regulations. These regulations apply to all non-domestic premises, including offices, factories, shops, and public buildings, and require a proactive approach to reducing the risk of fire and protecting occupants and the public. Additional guidance can be found on the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service website.

Footnotes

  1. https://www.gov.scot/publications/building-scotland-amendment-regulations-2022-fire-safety-and-cladding-presentation/

  2. https://www.gov.scot/publications/building-scotland-amendment-regulations-2022-fire-safety-and-cladding-presentation/

  3. https://www.gov.scot/news/new-fire-safety-standards-for-scottish-homes/

  4. https://www.aberdeenwa.gov/163/Fire-Code