Every Scottish home must now have interconnected fire alarms, with many households also needing carbon monoxide alarms.
Scottish ministers have refused to delay implementation of the new rules and insisted there will be ‘lightweight’ enforcement while critics of the legislation say many people have yet to make the changes required which can cost hundreds of pounds and home insurance premiums can also be affected.
North Lanarkshire Council Community Safety Officer Angela Campbell said: ‘It’s a shambles.
“SNP ministers are failing the elderly and vulnerable by doggedly pushing forward this botched fire alarm law. Councilors in North Lanarkshire are inundated with anxious residents worried about the potential consequences of failing to comply with this law due to these shortages .
“It is not enough for the SNP to simply say that the regulation of these changes will be ‘light’. If they want this deployment to continue, they must provide the necessary funding and support, as well as a more realistic timeline. Only then will our residents be reassured that they are not breaking the law through no fault of their own.
However, the SNP Group’s communities spokesperson, Councilor Danish Ashraf, said: ‘It has now been over three years since the new smoke detector regulations were unanimously approved by all parties in Parliament. Scottish with the implementation date already delayed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic so I don’t know how Labor can claim that we are working to unreasonable delays
“The fact is that these changes are crucial to the safety of the people of North Lanarkshire.
“Ministers have acknowledged that not everyone will be ready and have publicly stated there will be no enforcement at first.
“Anyone struggling with the cost of installing these lifesaving devices should contact the council or the fire department.”
The Scottish Government confirmed on Sunday that additional funds would be made available to cover the costs.