Lanarkshire politicians call for interlinked smoke alarm legislation to be halted
New laws due to come into force making interlinked smoke alarms in homes mandatory should be halted.
That’s according to opposition politicians at the Scottish Parliament and at South Lanarkshire Council.
Central Scotland Tory MSP, Graham Simpson, said the legislation – due to come into force in just a matter of weeks – should be delayed as home owners “don’t deserve to be caught out” by the changes.
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The legislation was already postponed in October 2020 due to the pandemic.
And Independent councillor for East Kilbride West, David Watson, has also called for a further suspension of the smoke and heat alarm role out.
From February 1, every home in Scotland must have one smoke alarm in the living room (or the room used most), one in every hallway or landing and one heat alarm in the kitchen.
All smoke and heat alarms should be mounted on the ceiling and be interlinked.
MSP Graham Simpson has accused government ministers of “ploughing ahead” with the plans, despite many homeowners still being ‘completely unaware’ of the changes.
While supportive of the plans to make homes safer, Mr Simpson says that the SNP’s current timescales are completely unachievable.
he told Lanarkshire Live : “The SNP’s lack of forward planning and failure to adequately publicise these changes means their current timescale is completely unachievable.
“SNP Ministers still have absolutely no idea how many homes across the region currently fall short of the requirements, yet they are pressing ahead anyway.
“They claim that public awareness of the scheme is high, yet their own analysis shows one in ten households are unaware of the legislation at all, let alone what it will mean in practice.”
Councillor Watson claims that the information and publicity from the Scottish Government “has been poor” in highlighting these changes.
And while he accepts there has already been a delay, he is calling for a further postponement to ensure everyone is aware of the changes and are able to get their hands on the correct type of alarms to meet the legislation.
He told us : “Manufactures are unable to get components and plastic to meet the demand due to a national shortage.
“The lack of availability is causing distress, particularly in older and vulnerable groups.
“Whilst I accept these measures are being brought in for safety and to save lives, it would be reasonable to suspend the implementation of this law until stocks of the correct type of heat and smoke alarms are available and the public are fully informed of the requirements.”
Government officials say they have provided financial support for vulnerable residents and ran a five-week TV, radio and digital campaign which they say reached 95.2 per cent of adults.
A spokesman said: “The new rules allow flexibility for home owners unable to install alarms by February 1.
“However, we would encourage everyone to install these alarms, which can help save lives.”
The government added there will be no penalties for non-compliance if more time is needed.
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news from:Daily Record - News
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