New fire alarm rules will be introduced next month, says minister

The changes will be introduced from next month.

New fire alarm rules will be introduced next month, says minister iStock
The change in the law was brought about by the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London in 2017.

There will be no further delay in introducing new rules on fire alarms in Scotland, MSPs have been told.

The change will require all homes to have interlinked fire alarms in place.

It includes having one smoke alarm in the room you spend most of the day, usually your living room, one smoke alarm in every circulation space on each storey, such as hallways and landings, and one heat alarm in the kitchen.

It is in response to the Grenfell tragedy in London in June 2017 in a move to protect homeowners and tenants.

The law will be in place from next month, on February 1, having previously been delayed due to the pandemic.

At the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, housing secretary Shona Robison indicated that it would not be right to delay the changes further.

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“These regulations were set in law on January 16, 2019, and were intended to come into force on February 1, 2021,” she explained.

“However, in the light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic during 2020, there were concerns about how the pandemic would impact on homeowners’ ability to make changes to their homes in time for this original deadline.

“So, a delay of 12 months was sought by ministers and agreed at the Local Government and Communities Committee meeting in December, 2020.

“As was stated at that time, a longer delay was not right as any delay to the regulation is a delay to a measure that has the potential to protect lives.

“And that’s why we remain committed to bringing in these new standards from February 1, 2022.”

Robison added: “In setting a new standard for fire alarms for homeowners and social landlords, bringing standards in line with other types of home, our foremost goal is to protect life and to prevent avoidable death in the event of a fire.”