Kintyre to fall in line with smoke alarm changes

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Every home in Scotland will be required to have a minimum number of smoke alarms when the Scottish Government brings in new fire safety legislation.

Changes to the Housing (Scotland) Act will mean that all private homes must have at least one smoke alarm installed in the room most frequently used, at least one smoke alarm in spaces such as hallways and landings, and at least one heat alarm in every kitchen, as well as a carbon monoxide detector.

There will be a 10-year age limit for alarms, with all alarms having to be ceiling-mounted, and they should be interlinked.

The changes have been announced after a Scottish Government consultation on fire and smoke alarms, launched after the Grenfell Tower blaze in London last year.

The news was welcomed by Campbeltown fire station watch commander Ronnie Souden.

He said: ‘Although smoke alarms do not prevent fires, they raise the alarm quicker and reduce the severity.

‘We would strongly recommend any person living in a domestic property to follow legislation, as this is for their safety.

‘The fire service has attended a lot of alarm calls where, if it hadn’t been for smoke alarms, the fires would have been much more severe.’

Mr Souden urged people to ensure batteries are fitted in smoke alarms at all times.

He said: ‘Unfortunately, we have attended some incidents where smoke alarms have been fitted but the batteries have been removed. We strongly recommend this practice should stop.’

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said that the ‘tragic’ events at Grenfell, where 71 people died, emphasised the importance of building and fire safety, which is why the government brought forward its consultation on the issue.

He said: ‘Now everyone will benefit from the same level of protection, whether you own your home, or rent from a social or private landlord.’

Argyll Community Housing Association’s chief executive, Alastair MacGregor, told the Courier that all its properties currently comply with or surpass Scottish Government guidance.

He said: ‘As part of ACHA investing in and improving our properties we are fitting mains-wired smoke alarms and heat detectors in many of our properties to ensure that we continue to exceed the new regulations.’

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service offers free home fire safety visits to domestic properties, which can be arranged by phoning 08000 731 999 or by texting text ‘FIRE’ to 80800.