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After Grenfell: Ministers want alarms in every Scottish home

Grenfell Tower (PA)
Grenfell Tower (PA)

MINISTERS want every home in Scotland to have fire, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms installed in a bid to prevent a Grenfell-style tragedy north of the Border.

The Scottish Government is changing housing laws so every home will be obliged to upgrade their protection against smoke and fire. This will mean owner-occupied homes being brought into line with the private rented sector and new builds.

However, sources suggest owners will be encouraged but not compelled to fit new alarms.

The moves follow a consultation review launched in the wake of the London tower block tragedy.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “The tragic events at Grenfell Tower last year emphasised how important building and fire safety is, which is why we brought forward our consultation on this issue.

“Now everyone will benefit from the same level of protection, whether you own your home, or rent from a social or private landlord.”

But some property experts have questioned the practicalities of carrying out and enforcing upgrades, with people potentially having to spend more than £200 to make their home compliant.

A consultation carried out on the issue also revealed concerns about the speed with which the new rules will be introduced.

It recommends at least one smoke alarm being installed in the room most frequently used of every home, at least one more in spaces such as hallways and landings and at a heat alarm fitted in every kitchen. It says alarms should to be no more than 10 years old and a carbon monoxide detector should be fitted in all homes.

Tory housing spokesman Graham Simpson said: “It is vital that all homes are fitted with working alarms. For some this will be an expensive task and they must be given time to comply with the new regulations.

“However, who is going to be responsible for ensuring these regulations are carried out?

If this is yet another burden on councils, the SNP must consider how best to support them in this process, and how to deal with non-compliance.”