Fire alarm fury continues but Scottish Government tells Cumbernauld News it will save lives
Last week the Cumbernauld News stated how the Labour Group at North Lanarkshire Council had urged Holyrood to think again as the scheme had sparked confusion, was too costly and was also poorly timed during a pandemic.
The Conservatives at North Lanarkshire Council have also stated that they believe that the scheme should be put on hold again, just as it was at the height of the crisis.
The set-up prompted councillor and Central Scotland List MSP Meghan Gallacher to say: “The SNP’s lack of forward planning and failure to adequately publicise these changes in North Lanarkshire means their current timescale is completely unachievable.”
This week, a Scottish Government spokesperson told the Cumbernauld News that the scheme was user-friendly, that a ‘light touch’ approach would be taken to non-adherence plus increased financial support would be available.
A spokesperson said: "The legislation was introduced after the tragic Grenfell fire to ensure that owner-occupied and social rented homes meet exactly the same standards that have been in place in new build properties for the past decade and the private rental sector since 2013.
“The average cost for sealed-battery alarms – which can be fitted by the homeowner or resident in the same way as traditional standalone alarms – is about £220 to cover a three-bedroom home, although some models may be cheaper.. No-one will be penalised if they do not install these alarms but we encourage everyone to do so.
“We have engaged throughout the legislative process with the Association of British Insurers who advise member firms are aware of the new regulations coming into force and are unlikely to invalidate a home insurance claim for existing customers who haven’t yet complied with the new law in Scotland.
“The findings of a YouGov survey in December showed that 43% of homeowners said they were either already compliant or were very likely to comply on time rising to a total of 66% when those saying ‘fairly likely’ are included.”