The Scottish Government will ask parliament to delay new regulations on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms by 12 months due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Legislation due to come into effect in February 2021 meant the standard which currently applies to private rented property and new-builds would have been extended to all homes in Scotland.

Due to the practical difficulties likely to be faced by homeowners seeking to make the necessary changes to their homes, the Scottish Government will now seek to move implementation back to February 2022.

Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government and Housing, said:

“Fire safety is an absolute priority for the Scottish Government, and we remain committed to implementing these improved regulations, which will mean everyone will benefit from the same level of protection, whether they own their home or rent from a social or private landlord.

“Given the impact of COVID-19, and the difficulties this is likely to create for people seeking to install new smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, we have listened to concerns and decided to ask the Scottish Parliament to delay implementation.

“If this delay is approved, we will continue to work with partners to spread awareness of the changes before the new deadline. Our focus will be on supporting householders to ensure satisfactory fire alarms are installed so we can improve the safety of their homes.”

The legal duty on complying with the legislation will rest with local authorities and not with individual householders.

Under the new legislation all home owners and landlords must ensure they have a ceiling-mounted smoke alarms in their living room, hallways and landings.

All kitchens must have a heat alarm and, crucially, the system must be interlinked, either through fixed wiring or a wireless system. This means if one alarm is activated it will trigger the others. 

There must also be a carbon monoxide alarm fitted where there are fixed combustion appliances.