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MSP: Delay new fire regulations

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By Donald Turvill
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MSP: Delay new  fire regulations

NEW fire and safety regulations due to come into effect next year should be delayed until 2022.

That’s the view of South Scotland SNP MSP Emma Harper, right.

Current legislation will require all Scottish home owners to have a ceiling-mounted smoke alarm fitted in their living room, hallways and landings, a heat alarm in every kitchen, and carbon monoxide alarms by all fixed combustion appliances such as boilers and wood burners by February 2021.

A leaflet recently distributed in the region by a company specialising in fitting fire safety appliances warned that “time is running out” as the deadline approaches.

But with an estimated instalment cost of £220, combined with the impact of Covid-19, Ms Harper is now calling for the Government to freeze plans.

The MSP said she was contacted by several recipients of the leaflet who were concerned that they “did not have knowledge of the new change to fire safety legislation, and that they have less than six months to make the change to comply with the law.”

She added: “Given these concerns, which are combined with the disruption caused by the Covid-19 restrictions and reduction of many people’s income, I have raised a question of the Scottish Government to consider delaying the deadline for making these changes by 12 months.

“This will allow for appropriate planning for these changes to be made – given the requirement for workers to enter people’s homes – which has not been possible for months – and for a wider public awareness effort to be carried out to ensure home owners are aware of their responsibilities and of the changes they need to make.

“Covid-19, and the restrictions on day-to-day life has been difficult for everyone across our region, and across Scotland. I do not think that now is the most appropriate time to require work to be carried out in people’s homes, nor to make people pay a projected £220 for this work to be done. I will, of course, keep constituents updated on my work in relation to this, and would encourage anyone to contact me should they have concerns.”

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