Under consideration PE1910: Amend the forthcoming legal requirement to have interlinked fire and smoke alarms in small houses

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to introduce an exemption for smaller houses from the requirement to have interlinked smoke and fire alarms fitted which comes into force in February 2022.

Previous action taken

Written to Scottish Government about lack of public consultation about the changes and my views that the changes are onerous. The response from the Government Directorate of Housing and Social Justice stated that a public consultation was prioritised by the Ministerial Working Group overseeing a review of building and fire regulatory frameworks. The consultation closed on 1 December 2017. Details of the new requirements were also provided.

Background information

It is agreed that the terrible fire at Grenfell needed change to high rise properties and homes in multiple occupation. It is argued, however, that the need for multiple linked alarms regardless of the size or type of house is unnecessary and onerous. The costs of sourcing and installing a number of alarms in each house would be substantial. The cost and number of alarms in each property is unnecessary for most 2 and 3 bedroom houses.

An exemption for small houses is required. The sound of multiple alarms sounding at once in small houses, even during a test, or for a minor alarm defect would create annoyance to older residents and unaffected neighbours. Alarms often go off for minor reasons such as burnt toast and there is no need for multiple alarms to go off all over the property. Strategically arranged alarms in circulation areas outside living and sleeping accommodation would surely suffice.

  • Created by Ian Nicol
  • Considered from 11 October 2021

This petition is now under consideration by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

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