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Updates on Nest Protect and pending Scottish legislation changes

RachelC
Googler

Hey everyone, 

I appreciate everyone’s patience as they’ve shared their feedback and questions regarding the pending Scottish legislation changes. We’re aware of the proposed legislation changes to the fire and smoke alarm standard in Scotland requiring households to have interlinked heat and smoke alarms. Nest Protect cannot function as a heat alarm due to specific hardware and functional requirements of those devices. So, beginning February 2022,  Nest Protects will not meet these new requirements due lack of interconnection with a compatible heat alarm. 

At this time, there are no current plans to produce a heat alarm and we do understand this is not ideal for many of our Scottish customers, but you can still use your Nest Protect as a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm as an addition to your interconnected system. We understand these options may not be suitable for everyone so we ask if you have any additional questions around next steps for your Nest Protect, you can contact support to get additional details.

We ask that you continue to refer to the guidance of your fire and local authorities and we’ll also share any updates and changes as they arise. 

Thanks,

Rachel

189 REPLIES 189

DP2
Community Member

I’m following this thread with great interest as I have 6 Nest Protect installed and until yesterday I believed they would provide compliance to the new legislation in Scotland from today. The HUGE question unanswered so far by Google is when will they have a heat alarm on the market or at least provide compliance of their product by providing a third party heat alarm that can integrate with the Google Nest Protect. Google, please answer this question and put your many disgruntled Customers minds and pockets at ease.

Disalp
Community Member

Google is bored with Nest protect. Don't worry they will cease support for all users soon. We can all look forward to look at these expensive paperweights stuck to our ceilings. 

GeoffC
Community Member

That's a lot of junk in landfill! Still got 6 years of life left in mine, might as well keep them; at least until batteries run out!

scubabobuk
Community Member

Hi

Scottish legislation on interconnected alarms is not worth the paper its written on

In it it says you have to have a smoke detector in the room most frequently used well for us that would be the kitchen, but wait it also says i have to have a heat detector so what do i do . Presumably i am not allowed a smoke detector as it is a kitchen but the legisalation says i need a smoke detector - work that one out ?

Anyway after 30 odd years in the Fire Alarm Industry that may suggest i know what i'm talking about , so i'm installing Nest detectors as i fear smoke and carbon monoxide may kill me long before heat does .

Maybe the Scottish Goverment or whoever wrote the legislation should have read the old addage there is no smoke without fire before they wrote anything down on paper

And before we all go well a smoke detector in the kitchen will go off all the time thats nonesense , if you site it correctly and have proper ventilation (remember the scottish goverment has said you need to cut a bit off the bottom of your doors to get proper airflow 🙂  ) then you wont get any false alarms

Anyway thats my take on the whole sorry situation here in Scotland

diaveldes
Community Member

The legislation is pretty much just the British Standard. I think as long as the smoke/heat alarm in the common room is linked that is what they actually want to so that the alarm is raised in the common room. 

DanCoco
Community Member

So if this means nest isnt supportrd because it doesnt have heat detectors, does this mean that your marketing indicating dual detectors is not a heat and smoke detector? Is it photocell and ionization technology instead of a temperature sensor?

NickB
Community Member

The Nest does contain a heat sensor, but I believe the problem is that alarm has either not been certified, or is not capable of being certified, to the required "BS 54############:2003" heat alarm standard need to comply with the new legislation.
It has been certified to the following standards: https://support.google.com/product-documentation/answer/9243851?hl=en-GB that include smoke and carbon monoxide.

digdees
Community Member

In my understanding, the heat sensor must be a separate sensor and installed only in the kitchen, this then interlinks with the other alarms and when smoke is detected, if this is caused by cooking for example, the heat alarm in the kitchen will communicate with the other alarms that there is a slight temperature rise in the kitchen, caused by cooking therefore the alarm system will no be triggered

DanCoco
Community Member

I clicked into that support article and read the section titles. Didnt see anything specific to heat detectors but I didnt look up each section yet bc I didn't have time earlier. They did market steam vs smoke being a thing, so perhaps it has hunidity detection. I mean it wad originally designed to work with the thermostat.

DanCoco
Community Member

I feel like im just adding fuel to a long dead fire at this point but, the nest protect does have a heat sensor. Neither generation uses ionization for detection, but photocell 1st gen or split spectrum photocell for gen 2. Looking through this sensor list, temperature sensing is included in nest protect for detection of rapid temp rise. 

https://support.google.com/googlenest/answer/9330256 

 

Google can easily release a software update to allow existing hardware to work with this "new" legislation.

Rab2
Community Member

Total joke google as a company you really should be ashamed of yourselves 

do the right thing and have a recall

and add what you have to

firebits74
Community Member

Why was I able to buy 3 of these last month with no warning?  The product specs explicitly state “heat detection”, I take it you will be refunding me?

LuckyJay702
Community Member

Hi I want to take the time and opportunity to say thank you all for having much patience with  Scottish legislation changes. : )

Your legislator

Rab2
Community Member

Google nest need to compensate customers who have purchased their product thinking they are covered with Scottish legislation.

Their technical team should have modified and fixed their current models to comply with scottish legislation,then Google nest and their customers would have gained

 

johnt16
Community Member

I'm sure you're right, but also Google need to take steps to have them withdrawn from sale in Scotland at physical retailers and ensure online sellers are advised to have clear information stating they do not meet standards in Scotland. 

I wonder if a corporate fraud charge is possible if Google continues to promote, supply and support sales of these products in Scotland. Any lawyers out there?

Danest
Community Member

Thanks for confirming. Really really disappointed as so much money has been wasted.

Boro
Community Member

what a disappointment, why google won't develop an interconnected heat detector to widen their offer and it would comply with UK regs! 

NickieL
Community Member

Rachel,

It is not just Scotland - Massachusetts has a similar law with regard to the garage. It requires a heat sensor & must tie into the existing Neat system we have in place in our home ( the garage is an addition). What do you suggest? We do not want to rip out the entire system and replace it. Please help!

 

NickeL

johnt16
Community Member

Federalism is, on the whole, a good thing, IMHO, but this is an example of where it goes bad. Someone in Scotland got a "bee in the bonnet" about fires in kitchens. In Massachusetts, it's garages and not kitchens...

The heat alarm doesn't make sense for our usage of the kitchen. (Obviously doesn't apply to everyone I suppose.) There is no way I can imagine us leaving a cooking appliance turned on while we go to sleep. (Which is what the heat alarm is for.) Just wouldn't ever happen in our home. 

Kitchen fire, of course that's possible. But if that happens while we're conscious, we're not going to sit around waiting to burn... someone "got at" the committee setting the rules and they went too far, I'd say. 

Same in Massachusetts? One of your local representatives experienced a nasty garage fire in which the family were not alerted by the house alarms?

We all want the most protection we can get for our families, but there are limits to the practicality of every technology. No fire or heat alarm can protect everybody forever from fire. 

That's what bothers me most about the Scottish legislation. It's fine for those of us who can afford to replace five or six interconnected alarms every ten years. There are no fines or enforcement proposed against private homeowners, possibly even landlords, to make sure these rules are followed. I think it may eventually result in more homes having less protection. (A bit like a Health & Safety Executive rule change for swimming pools in 2000. They eventually realised that this had caused shallow depth adaptation and  pool closures, leading to less people learning to swim. Who then when on to become non-swimming adults, leading to more drownings... the rule was clarified and essentially revoked some years later. No parent would normally let a non-swimming child out of their depth and out of arms reach...)

DanCoco
Community Member

Was the garage just added so it has to meet current codes and the heat sensor law can't be grandfathered in? (Granted, it could never hurt to upgrade your fire safety equipment.) Not knowing the specifics of the law, this may or may not meet requirements, but there are smoke detector detectors that listen for the sound of an alarm, then use that to trigger an action like texting your phone or turning on lights.

If the law reads something like requiring remote notification in other parts of the home, vs activating the rest of the alarms in the house, that may work. Though personally, I wouldn't feel safe relying on a text to my phone or even a light flash. It requires internet to be functioning, and would confuse any guests to the home. 

The lack of Nest Protect integration with Google  Home and the fact that "Works with Nest" is no longer an option unless you have not converted an old nest account to google, means that there is not really a way to have a third party device activate the Nest alarm voice and tones. (Even with a nest account, I dont know if that was possible. I had not tried it.)

NickeL, if you get a chance, read my post. It will give you the answer. Short answer though is that you will not be able to use the NEST system. I’m in Massachusetts as well converting an office to a bedroom with an existing garage and had to make sure now the whole house confirms to the new law. A little ridiculous but had no choice if I wanted to get the building permit. I did find one solution, unfortunately it does not include NEST. I just returned 8 of them to Costco but unfortunately cannot return the other 3 I had already installed because it was too late. It’s really unfortunate but NEST has no plans to bring to market a compliant heat detector product for Massachusetts.  

Campbell
Community Member

Please sign my petition to get the Nest Protect system accepted as a valid system in Scotland:

https://petitions.parliament.scot/petitions/PE1940

Sorry - the problem is Nest and their contempt for safety, not Scottish legislation.

I agree Nest/Google should compensate people who have purchased these devices recently - particularly since they became a requirement in February this year - but the regulations were applied recently. It's stretching things a bit to allege contempt for safety when the devices were designed 5-8 years before the standard was applied. 

Have signed the petition above as I believe allowing people to choose devices with several better sensors, protection against false alarms - which lead to tragedy when people disconnect inferior alarms - probably overall improves safety. The nature of the way the regulations were brought in suggest the criteria were set by "industry experts" in the best interests of the manufacturers, rather than ensuring the most effective alarms were available in the largest number of properties. 

(There is evidence that ionisation alarms do not detect smouldering fires as well as photoelectric detectors. These are the fires that kill. Also, ionisation alarms are creating a landfill radioactive waste problem for people not yet born.)

I'm not an expert but a member of the public who smells a rat. (It might be that the Nest devices are better at saving lives than alarms on the market that meet the standard.)

NickB
Community Member

The standard which the Nest Protect is not certified is "BS 5446-2:2003" for heat alarms. It has been certified as meeting the "BS EN14604:2005" Smoke alarm standard. The new legalisation requires the former for kitchens and latter for other areas.
Both of these standards predate the design/release of the Nest Protect by many years, yet Nest chose only to certify their device with the 2005 smoke alarm standard not the heat alarm standard. So while the device is advertised has having a 'heat' sensor it's not certified with the 2003 standard for heat alarms. It would be interesting to know why... is it incapable of meeting the standards requirements, or could be submitted for certification with it, for example...

johnt16
Community Member

While the standards were defined, they were not required by law in Scotland until 2019. This was then deferred to Feb 2022 due to a failure to properly publicise or consult on the changes, leading to likelihood there would be a negative impact on fire safety due to the rushed implementation of a standard probably driven more by manufacturer influence than evidence of efficacy.

"Legislation16.4. The tolerable standard was first defined in the Housing (Scotland) Act 1969which was then repealed and replaced by the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987. The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (Tolerable Standard) (Extension of Criterion) Order 2019introduced this new element."

https://www.gov.scot/publications/fire-and-smoke-alarms-tolerable-standard-guidance/
https://www.gov.scot/publications/fire-and-smoke-alarms-in-scottish-homes/

No evidence is presented to back the case that this particular technical configuration will overall have any benefit compared to interlinked, multi-sensor alarms that are accepted globally.

(There is however evidence that ionisation alarms, which are permitted under the standard, are less effective than photoelectric alarms at detecting smouldering fires which kill. They also carry Americium-241, an alpha emitter, into landfill at the rate of many millions per year, for future generations to worry about. Am-241 has a half-life of 432 years.)

NickB
Community Member

Both ionisation alarms and photoelectric alarms detect smoke, not heat. There are separate standards for smoke alarms and heat alarms. 

 

It is possible for an alarm to be certified as both a smoke (BS EN 14604) and heat (BS 5446-2) alarm, and thus be used in a kitchen and elsewhere. For example: https://www.safelincs.co.uk/mains-radio-interlinked-combined-smoke-and-heat-alarm-lithium-backup-ei3...

 

I guess the interesting question is why the Nest Protect, while being advertised as having both smoke and heat detection, is only actually certified as a smoke alarm.

 

The Scottish legalisation requires a certified heat alarm in all kitchens. Building standards in England/Wales also require certified heat alarms in kitchens of new build properties. I believe some other European countries and US states have similar heat alarm standards/requirements.

NickB
Community Member

The issue is that while Nest Protect may contain a heat sensor it is either incapable of meeting or has not been certified as meeting the `BS 5446-2:2003` stand for heat alarms, which the legalisation for all homes in Scotland, and all new build/modifications in England, require.

diaveldes
Community Member

It won't get accepted as it doesn't meet Bristish Standards. 

coolju
Community Member

Refund Status Scotland?

 

Has anyone actually received their promised refunds from Google?

 

I initially contacted Google on this topic last September, was finally offered full refund on my 9x Nest Protect units last December (not bought from Google store), and returned units to Google with the labels they sent.  In April was told the refund would take another 8 weeks for them to pay.  8 weeks passed.  Chased them, and now told that the refund could take another 13 weeks!!! (unbelievable)  ... or to register on a 3rd party site called Payoneer for refund in another 2 weeks (so I am now going down that route) ... but have zero trust refund will actually materialise.

 

Total incompetence from Google Support.  Curious if anyone has actually received their promised refunds yet, and how long the process took?

 

(I actually posted this question as a separate thread last week, but interestingly it got closed after a day as apparently I didn't respond in time....)