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Electricians struggling to source fire alarms on deadline for new safety standards

Some electricians have reported issues with sourcing fire alarm stock.
Some electricians have reported issues with sourcing fire alarm stock.

Electricians in the north and north-east have been “unable” to get fire alarms to meet new legislation in force from February 1.

The new standards require all homes in Scotland to have interlinked appliances which communicate with each other.

But the Scottish Government has come under criticism for the “chaos” surrounding the roll-out – including the cost of the alarms and shortages of the appliances.

Moray MP Douglas Ross was contacted by local electricians who say they are “simply unable to get the stock to fit the alarms”.

They warned him “people won’t be able to meet the new requirements any time soon as the resources just aren’t there”.

There were also problems sourcing stock in areas including Aberdeen and Perth – with some appointments to fit the alarms cancelled.

But the Scottish Government has stressed that householders do not need to get an electrician in to fit the alarms.

Interlinked smoke alarms: All you need to know about new fire alarm regulations in Scotland

Battery operated alarms are available and can be fitted by home owners themselves, with officials advising that supply is available.

From today, members of the public are required to have smoke alarms in the room where they spend most of their time, as well as in kitchens and in hallways.

The alarms cost an average of £220 but will be more expensive if a tradesperson is required to fit the appliances.

Mr Ross said: “I have been contacted by many constituents from across Moray who are extremely worried by this new legislation and are unsure about what they have to do or how they are expected to pay for new alarms which are costing hundreds of pounds.

“There has been so little information from the SNP Scottish Government, and many people are unprepared for this new legislation which is now in force.”

Extra funding available

Housing Secretary Shona Robison announced an extra £500,000 in funding to support more elderly and disabled people to get the alarms installed.

This doubles the funding already given to Care and Repair Scotland to help the most vulnerable.

Housing Secretary Shona Robison.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has also received £1m of government funding to install alarms in the homes of people at highest risk.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Housing Secretary Shona Robison said interlinked fire alarms will “save more lives”.

She added: “We would encourage all homeowners to install the alarms as soon as they are able – long life battery-powered interlinked alarms are as easy to install as traditional standalone ones.”


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