Local MSP Colin Smyth has slammed the SNP Government for ruling out any delays in the introduction of new smoke alarm regulations, with thousands of residents across South Scotland now likely to be in breach of the rules next month.
In the Scottish Parliament today (19 January) Labour secured an urgent statement from the Scottish Government on their new law that will mean all homes must fit interlinked smoke alarms in the living room, hallways and landings and a heat alarm in the kitchen by a deadline of 1 February. Carbon monoxide alarms must also be fitted next to a fuel-burning appliance like a boiler. The cost to households is estimated to be around £220.
The new legislation has been beset by problems, including a lack of public awareness, affordability worries, and even a shortage of equipment.
Age Concern has called for a one-year delay to the law, saying there was “no chance” that most private homes would be compliant.
Labour used the statement in the Scottish Parliament to back calls for a delay- but the move was dismissed by the Scottish Government.
Colin Smyth said, “The Scottish Government know the introduction of these new rules has been shambolic, but their blinkered refusal to delay the implementation shows they are only concerned at not being seen to backtrack.
“This was supposed to be a chance to improve safety in our homes, but the SNP have let it descend into chaos and they can’t answer basic questions my constituents have.
“There are still serious questions over whether insurance policies could be voided, supply shortages have still not been dealt with and the help to those on low income is not good enough.
“I have been inundated by constituents worried about being in breach of the law, because they can’t afford the alarms or can’t find them, and many people just don’t even know they need a new alarm.
“To press ahead with these change without delay and hit households with hefty bills in the middle of a cost of living crisis, is the height of irresponsibility from the Scottish Government”