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Community / New fire alarm systems still being fitted in council houses

THE LOCAL authority expects to have all council houses fitted with new interlinked fire alarms by the end of May, four months after the rules became law.

The new legislation which came into force today (1 February) was introduced following the Grenfell disaster, and the push to improve on fire safety in Scottish homes.

The new rules to fit interlinked smoke alarms apply to social housing and owner-occupied homes

The new rules apply to social housing and owner-occupied homes as privately rented houses and new builds have been required to fit interlinked smoke alarms for more than 10 years.

The Scottish Government estimates that retrofitting homes with the fire alarms will on average cost home owners £220.

The government has also said that it will not penalise people if they need more time to comply with the new rules.

A spokesperson for Shetland Islands Council confirmed this afternoon that 496 upgrades have been completed in a housing stock of 1,737 properties.

He added: “We currently have three contracts with external contractors to complete a total of 1,148 properties.

“The remaining 93 are void or long term void properties, or where access has been denied – our in-house repair service will pick those up in the next few months.

“We expect that all properties will be upgraded by the end of May 2022.”

Meanwhile, Hjaltland Housing Association, which has housing stock comprising of mainly newer buildings, confirmed that “upgraded inter-linked smoke and heat detectors (…) that required upgrades” have been fitted to 513 of its 515 properties over the last two years.

“There are two remaining properties which will be upgraded as soon as possible,” a spokesperson added.