While the catastrophic blaze that ripped through Grenfell Tower in the early hours of 14 June 2017 with the loss of 72 lives is the subject of an ongoing public inquiry, there have already been legislative responses to the tragedy both north and south of the border. With the issue of cladding perhaps being the main focus of public attention, significant changes to the legal requirements for fire detection in Scottish homes may, at this point, have gone unnoticed by some.

Under the Scotland Act 1998, housing and building standards are a matter devolved to the Scottish Parliament. In the aftermath of Grenfell, Scottish Government working groups were set up leading to the passing of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (Tolerable Standard) (Extension of Criteria) Order 2019. While new homes, those undergoing renovation and rental properties are already required to meet certain standards for fire and carbon monoxide detection, the new legislation requires every Scottish home to comply with new standards. It is estimated that the average cost of installing the required equipment in a three-bedroom home will be £220.

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