I thought it would be helpful to briefly outline my thoughts on the interlinked fire alarm deadline and also provide clarity on the issue as a number of constituents have gotten in touch to register their concerns. Whilst I share the ambition to ensure everyone is equally protected, I am deeply concerned by how this rollout has been handled by the Scottish Government.
I’ve received reports of constituents struggling to secure equipment, confusion about what systems would comply or work best, that costs are proving much higher than ministers claimed, and concern that the poor handling of this rollout will make it easier for unscrupulous firms to exploit vulnerable customers.
The Scottish Government has also done very little to help households on low incomes with the costs or to make people aware of the little that is currently available. At a time when there is a cost of living crisis, it is essential that homeowners are properly supported.
This legislation has already been delayed for a year due to a lack of preparedness from the Scottish Government and it is frustrating that this delay has not been used to ensure that people can install the necessary equipment. This is a failure that may put lives at risk. However, in these circumstances, it was ill advised to proceed with the 1 February 2022 timetable for full implementation. The Scottish Government needs to provide more active and urgent support for households who have not been able to install the correct systems.
The Scottish Government has also announced that there will be no enforcement of the requirements, but that they strongly encourage property owners have the work completed.
If you are still unsure what is required, you can find the new regulations here.
Many people have registered their concerns over the impact of the guidance upon their insurance policy. Scottish Government ministers have been in dialogue with insurance companies, who have stated that the deadline will not affect people’s policies.
However, I would strongly advise, if you are concerned about your policy, to contact your insurer and discuss the matter with them, for absolute peace of mind.
I have also pressed the Scottish Government for greater clarity concerning where to source the alarms and to hire contractors.
If you would like to get in touch to discuss this, or anything else I can help with, please write to me at [email protected] or call my office at 0131 334 1814.