SNP ministers to make statement on fire alarm changes amid calls for Scotland delay

SNP ministers are to make a parliamentary statement about an impending change to the law on fire alarms amid mounting calls for a delay.

From February 1, all homes in Scotland will be required to have linked alarms in living rooms as well as spaces such as hallways and landings.

The Scottish Government says the alarms can be installed within a “reasonable” timeframe after this deadline.

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Concerns have been raised over the implementation of new fire alarm laws

However, critics have called for a grace period as they insisted households have not been provided with enough support.

A previously unscheduled statement is expected in Holyrood today on “strengthened fire alarm standards”.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “I am deeply concerned by how this rollout has been handled by the Scottish Government.

"This is a failure that may put lives at risk.

“In these circumstances, it is unrealistic to proceed with the February 1, 2022 timetable for full implementation.

“The Scottish Government needs to provide more active and urgent support for households who have not been able to install the correct systems and an estimate of how much of the installation work remains outstanding.

“At a time when Scotland is experiencing a cost-of-living crisis, it is essential that homeowners are properly supported.

“Fire and carbon monoxide systems save many lives each year. This is why Scottish Liberal Democrats are requesting a formal grace period, to allow enough time for homeowners to meet the standards, receive proper financial support, and the problems that have accompanied the rollout are resolved.”

Labour and the Conservatives have also called for a delay.

The new legislation follows the devastating Grenfell fire in London in 2017, and applies to all Scottish homes.

Its implementation has already been pushed back by a year due to the pandemic.

The Scottish Government estimates the cost for an average three-bedroom house which requires three smoke alarms, one heat alarm and one carbon monoxide detector will be around £220.

There are no penalties for non-compliance. However, there are concerns failure to take action could affect existing insurance policies.

Scottish Tory MSP Miles Briggs previously said: “The SNP have already postponed this scheme once, but that isn’t enough.

"They must postpone it once again in order to guarantee that homeowners are fully prepared for these significant changes.”

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