Friday, 23 March 2018

"Kerching!" shouted the Scottish Association of Smoke Alarm Installers

From the BBC:

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said :

"Fires and fatalities from fires are decreasing but even one death is one too many*. Scotland already has rigorous standards for smoke and fire alarms developed over time, with the highest standard currently applied to new-build and private rented housing.

"The tragic events at Grenfell Tower last year emphasised how important building and fire safety is, which is why we brought forward our consultation on this issue. Now everyone will benefit from the same level of protection, whether you own your home, or rent from a social or private landlord."

In practical terms, the law will require private homes to;

* have at least one smoke alarm installed in the room most frequently used
* have at least one smoke alarm in spaces such as hallways and landings
* have at least one heat alarm in every kitchen
* have a carbon monoxide detector

In addition, there will be a 10-year age limit for alarms and all alarms will have to be ceiling-mounted, and should be interlinked.

* While an individual death is a tragedy and burning to death or dying of smoke inhalation is a pretty horrid way to go, there has to be some commonsense here. Last year, 36 people died in fires in their homes in Scotland.

Guesswork: Maybe all the extra alarms will halve the number of deaths, call it 18 lives saved a year. Multiply two million owner-occupied dwellings by £100 for installation = £200 million and amortise over ten years = £20 million a year. Average cost per life saved, over £1 million.

I once read that the UK government has its own arbitrary figure for the value of one life saved, and it was a lot less than £1 million, in other words, if some safety measure saves one life a year and costs £1 million, they wouldn't make it mandatory.


jack ketch said...

* have a carbon monoxide detector

Whether they have gas or not?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Jk, good spot!

jack ketch said...

The way Scotland (and the yUK for that matter) are going, they will mandatorize the fitting of Nicotine detectors in private houses to catch all the 4th hand smoke leeching through adjoining walls.

O/T but I have just watched the German 19:00 TV Evening News, which has an authority to rival that of the BBC Nine o'Clock News , back when there was such a creature. It lead, of course, on today's gathering of the EU clan leaders and reported about their surprising unity in condemning both Russia and Trump's Trade War yet not one 'wort' fell about May or Brexit. Makes one think that perhaps, perish the thought, Germany.GmbH isn't actually that worried....

Mark Wadsworth said...

JK, first part, I fear yes. Second part, good.

Bayard said...

In the case of the "nerve gas attack", I sense that the UK Govt. is proceeding in the way that it would prefer all justice to be administered: guilty until proved innocent.

Lola said...

As the fall of communism has shown that economic marxism doesn't work the interventionists have to find something else to do.

formertory said...

£100 an installation won't go far. All those lovely (not) tenement buildings in Glasgow and Edinburgh with 13 foot (at least) high ceilings will need scaffolding towers. Surface mounted cables for power and interlinking will need to be armoured / fireproof. Certification of installations. Cost of inspectors to police things. Plus the effect of simply mandating that the work be done; I recall reading a while back that in Oz the price of rainwater harvesting installations more than tripled within days of da gubbermunt making them mandatory on all new builds.

The shades of Messrs. Smith and Ricardo must be laughing fit to bust.

Sackerson said...

"... the Health and Safety Executive itself has accepted non-linearity, by adopting what it calls a ‘Tolerability of Risk Framework’, distinguishing ‘unacceptable’, ‘tolerable’ and ‘broadly acceptable’ regions of risk (Health and Safety Executive, 2001: 42-46). A risk of death is unacceptable if it is above 1 in 1,000 per year for the workforce and 1 in 10,000 per year for the public who have a risk imposed on them, and is ‘broadly acceptable’ and thus requiring no special reduction measures if it falls below 1 in 1,000,000 per year."

James Higham said...

Post was good but this took the prize for heading of the month:

"Kerching!" shouted the Scottish Association of Smoke Alarm Installers

L fairfax said...

Your sums assume that we don't save any material damage as well, surely that would make it lower.