The Scottish Government will delay new fire safety laws by 12 months after a backlash by homeowners
New legislation set out that every home must have been up to the new standards by February 2021. However, Borders parliamentarians, Rachael Hamilton and John Lamont spoke out against the timetable for the changes. They also called for better communication by the Scottish Government of the requirements for local residents.
The fire safety measures will now be delayed until 2022. From this date, every home must have:
- a smoke alarm in the living room and in circulation spaces such as hallways and landings
- a heat alarm in every kitchen
- all alarms ceiling mounted and interlinked
- a carbon monoxide alarm where there are fixed combustion appliances such as boilers and wood burners
All alarms should be ceiling mounted and interlinked.
Where there is a carbon-fuelled appliance (such as boilers, fires (including open fires) and heaters) or a flue, a carbon monoxide detector is also required which does not need to be linked to the fire alarms.
The new rules mean the standard which currently applies to private rented property and new-builds is being extended to all homes in Scotland.
The Scottish Government estimates that this will cost households around £220. However, this is based on using alarms you can install by yourself without the need for an electrician. The Scottish Government website says that ‘any costs will be the responsibility of homeowners and landlords.’
Rachael Hamilton MSP: “We must make sure our homes are safe but homeowners and landlords were given less than four months to install the alarms and other devices.
“This caused widespread panic amongst my constituents, and it is simply unacceptable to have such poor communication from the SNP Government over something so important.
“I am glad the First Minister has realised the timetable was unfeasible for these regulations coming into force and has U-turned.
“Having written to the SNP Minister, it is a win for common sense and I hope that vulnerable people and low income families are given the proper support to implement these new measures.
“I worry for many people about the cost of between £200 and £250 of installing these new alarms.
“We need to see the SNP Government work to ensure the public are fully aware of the changes in fire regulations in good time and help those who may struggle to pay for new alarms.”