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West Dunbartonshire Council to call for delay to new fire alarm rules

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Calls are being made to delay new regulations requiring every home to have interlinked fire alarms – amid concerns many residents are unaware of the rules.From February, all homeowners must have connected smoke and heat alarms under legislation brought forward after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017.It means the interlinked alarms will all sound when one detects danger.Homes that have a fuel-burning appliance, such as a boiler, an open fire or a log burner, will also need to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed in the room the appliance is in.The deadline for the new rules has already been delayed for a year but West Dunbartonshire Council will now write to the Scottish Government requesting it is pushed back by a further 18 months.Some councillors say many residents still aren’t aware of the new rules and that some might not be able to afford the cost of installing the alarms, which could invalidate their home insurance.However, SNP council leader Jonathan McColl argued that the legal requirement should be put in place as planned to protect the safety of residents.Labour’s David McBride tabled a motion at a recent full council meeting calling for a delay.He said: “I really don’t think the public awareness is there.”He said an average three-bedroom house would require five interlinked alarms, made up of three smoke alarms, one heat alarm and one carbon monoxide detector, at an estimated cost of £220.He added that there was also “a high degree of uncertainty and anxiety regarding the availability of skilled trades and equipment and about ensuring that the fire safety equipment gets installed by the prescribed deadline, especially as failure to do so could invalidate house insurance”.The Scottish Government is providing

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