Homeowners who fail to comply with new fire alarm rules will not face penalties

A joint statement from the Scottish Government and councils said ‘no one will be criminalised’ over new requirements to have linked alarms.

Craig Paton
Friday 21 January 2022 12:29
The changes will come into effect on February 1 (John Stillwell/PA)
The changes will come into effect on February 1 (John Stillwell/PA)

Scots will face “no penalties” for failing to comply with new rules around fire alarms, a statement from local authorities and the Scottish Government has stressed.

The changes to legislation mean, from February 1, all homes will need to have linked alarms in living rooms as well as spaces such as hallways and landings.

The Scottish Government says the alarms can be installed within a “reasonable period” after this deadline.

Scottish Labour pushed for the deadline to be pushed back again – further to delays caused by Covid-19 – due to supply chain issues with the new alarms, but Housing Secretary, Shona Robison, rejected the idea.

No one will be criminalised if they need more time and there are no penalties for non-compliance

Joint statement from Scottish Government and Cosla

But on Friday, a joint statement between local authority body Cosla and the Scottish Government stressed a light touch enforcement approach from councils around the legislation.

“Improving fire safety remains an important priority for both national and local government,” the statement said.

“The legislation provides flexibility for people to fit the necessary alarms in due course if they are unable to do so by the February 2022 deadline.

“As a result, local authorities will be taking a proportionate and measured approach to compliance taking individual circumstances into account as well as reflecting the evolving situation with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“No one will be criminalised if they need more time and there are no penalties for non-compliance.

“However, we would encourage everyone to install these alarms, which can help save lives.”

Ms Robison had previously said councils would not be “knocking on people’s doors” to ensure compliance with the new standards.

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