All homes in Scotland are now required to have interlinked smoke alarms in place under new legislation.
The new law setting out the requirement came into effect on Tuesday, February 1.
It means the country becomes the first in the UK where residents are legally required to have smoke alarms linked together throughout properties.
The requirements have already been in place for new-build and private-rented homes for a decade.
However, the new law means it will now also be applied for owner-occupied homes and those in the social rented sector.
There will be a legal duty on councils to monitor how many homes are compliant with the requirement.
But, homeowners will not be penalised if they haven’t had the alarms installed in time.
Ahead of the law coming into effect, the Scottish Government announced an additional £500,000 funding to help more elderly and disabled people install fire alarms.
Housing secretary Shona Robison urged all homeowners to install the alarms “as soon as they are able”.
“We’re introducing these new standards because interlinked fire alarms will save more lives,” she said.
“One death from fire is one too many, but tragically last year alone 44 people died in house fires in Scotland.
“We would encourage all homeowners to install the alarms as soon as they are able.
“Long life battery-powered interlinked alarms are as easy to install as traditional standalone ones.”
Despite the law coming into force, the Scottish Conservatives have submitted an urgent question at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday in a bid to temporarily halt the change.
The party’s social justice, housing and local government spokesman Miles Briggs pointed to an STV News poll which found that just over half of Scots have interlinked smoke alarms installed.
“It’s not too late for the SNP to see sense and delay their bungled fire alarms law at the 11th hour,” said the Scottish Conservative MSP.
“The Scottish Conservatives will submit an urgent question to the Scottish Government in a last-ditch attempt to force a temporary halt to these rules.
“The SNP’s handling of this scheme has been shambolic from the start. Now, with the law set to come into force, we learn from a poll that almost half of Scots are still not ready for the new requirements due to the SNP’s shoddy planning and dismal public awareness campaign.
“And with the latest advice confirming that home insurance policies may be impacted, people are afraid that their home may no longer be covered in the event of a fire.
“Ordinary Scots shouldn’t be punished as a result of SNP incompetence. The SNP Government must set a new deadline so that all households can meet the requirements in time.”
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