Firefighters representatives have called for talks with the Scottish Government over new rules requiring every house to have a system of interlinked fire alarms installed.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said ‘multi-agency’ talks are needed to establish “clarity and certainty” over the issue, which became law on Tuesday 1 February.
Scotland is the first UK nation to legally require every home to have interlinked smoke alarms.
The legislation was introduced in 2019 following the Grenfell disaster but was delayed until 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, concerns have been raised about the availability of interlinked alarms and the number of households still to undertake the work, with one recent survey finding half of Scots’ homes were yet to be fitted with a system.
There have also been fears that the costs of installing the new smoke alarms may be prohibitive, with a simple set-up running to more than £140.
Firefighters’ reps have called for talks
Scottish ministers have rejected the criticism of the new rules, and announced that an extra £500,000 was available to help vulnerable people install the alarms.
Ian Sim, FBU Scotland Regional Secretary said: “The safety of … our members and the general public is paramount.
“At the moment there is too much uncertainty and mixed messaging. We need clarity and certainty over these plans and the Scottish government must now convene immediate multi-agency talks to establish the safest way forward.”
Housing Secretary Shona Robison previously said the alarms would save lives.
The SNP minister said the interlinked alarms would “significantly reduce the risk of injury or death” by giving residents more time to escape a fire.
The Scottish Government has been approached for comment on the FBU’s call for talks.