Practical Fire Safety Guidance for existing Specialised Housing and other supported domestic accommodation

Closed 22 Oct 2019

Opened 31 Jul 2019


What is this consultation about?

The Scottish Government is gathering views on draft Fire Safety Guidance for Specialised Housing (and other supported domestic accommodation). We will use the responses to further develop and refine the guidance.

The Guidance has been drafted to deliver on the sixth recommendation from the Review of the Fire Safety Regime for High Rise Domestic Buildings in Scotland. The Review’s other recommendations relate to fire safety in high rise domestic buildings and were agreed by the Scottish Government Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety that was set up following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower. The sixth recommendation “Introduction of Scottish guidance concerning Fire safety in specialised housing” is not specific to high rise domestic buildings but also agreed by the Ministerial Working Group. 

Why Specialised Housing and supported domestic accommodation?

The Scottish fire regime review found there are no major gaps in the Scottish legislation but it did identify a lack of guidance related to the consideration of the needs of vulnerable people.  It advocated a “person-centred” approach to meet the needs of all individuals that may need additional help in terms of fire safety. 

What is Specialised Housing and what else does the guidance apply to?

Most specialised housing is provided for older people, who, with advancing age, may require a degree of care and support.  This includes sheltered and very sheltered or extra-care housing.   Other forms of specialised housing have evolved for people with specific needs, including housing for adults with physical, sensory, mental health or cognitive impairments who live, to varying degrees, independently within the community in group home environments.  In some cases, such residents may require significant care and support (known collectively as “supported housing”).  

It is also recognised that some people will be receiving home care services in what might be referred to as “general needs” housing.  Therefore, the guidance has been drafted with a “person-centred” approach and aims to meet the needs of all individuals that may need additional help in terms of fire safety in the home.  The guidance is also applicable to very small, domestic care homes, akin to supported housing. 

Who is this consultation for?

The Guidance is primarily to be used by people that provide the housing or care/support services, and those regulators who ensure resident and tenant safety is adequately addressed. However, everyone who lives in specialised housing (or other supported domestic accommodation) and those with fire safety responsibilities are encouraged to respond to the consultation. This includes:

  • Residents / tenants
  • Independent/private sector housing providers
  • Housing associations
  • Local authority housing providers
  • Managing agents or facilities managers
  • Care and support providers
  • Local authority service commissioners
  • Enforcement Officers in local housing authorities
  • Enforcement Officers and Community Safety staff of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
  • Advice agencies
  • Consultants/contractors carrying out fire safety risk assessments
  • Other people with responsibility for Fire Safety
  • Anyone else with views including relatives of people who live in specialised housing


Why We Are Consulting

We would very much like your thoughts and comments on the draft Practical Fire Safety Guidance for existing Specialised Housing (and other supported domestic accommodation) (the Guidance). It is intended to provide consistent, easily accessible fire safety guidance.

For most domestic premises to which the guidance applies, it is ‘good practice’ advice and not a legal requirement. The Guidance gives further information on those domestic type premises to which fire safety law does apply for example, small, domestic care homes, licensed Houses in Multiple Occupation and some other forms of supported housing. 

While there are no plans to extend the range of premises covered by fire safety legislation, we will consider making it a legal requirement if further support is needed. This will be done in part by monitoring and evaluating the implementation and effectiveness of the Guidance.  

Read the consultation paper. 

Who is the Guidance for?

The Guidance can help everyone to be clear on what is needed for fire safety in specialised housing and other supported domestic accommodation.  This includes premises that are council, housing association or privately owned/rented. It is primarily to be used by people that provide the housing or care/support services, and those regulators who ensure resident and tenant safety is adequately addressed. 

Please read the Fire Safety Guidance before answering the questions in this section. They ask about the Purpose, Clarity and Implementation of the Guidance. The findings from the consultation will improve the Guidance and inform implementation.

What Happens Next

We will analyse the responses and these will help to refine and develop the guidance document.


  • Building and Planning
  • Children and Families
  • Communities and Third Sector
  • Equality, Welfare and Rights
  • Public Sector
  • Health and Social Care