In the name of safety, and in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in England, the Scottish Government is changing the law to require every home-owner in Scotland to install fire and heat alarms all over the house – and it doesn’t matter if you live in a tiny flat, the same rules apply. As one reader who does live in a one-bedroom flat points out, it’s bad enough when one smoke alarm goes off, but if, as this new law requires, there are umpteen around the place all interlinked, this is likely to be a real nuisance, day and night. As a Catholic, she wonders if she is within her rights to refuse to comply – because the local authority has the power to enforce this law and she’s not sure what that would mean and if it might entail causing public scandal if her non-compliance is reported in the media.
Here’s the BBC report on this change to Scottish Law, which the Government claims has come in “after consultation” but I, for one, can’t find anyone who was consulted. And it’s interesting checking out what the electricians are saying; certainly the Government’s claim that the basic cost to each home-owner should be around £200 seems to fall very far wide of the mark. Electricians are likely to make a fortune out of this latest intrusion into family life by the Scottish Government – remember, they’re not forking out to pay for this; home-owners are left to foot the bill.
Is our reader right to worry about causing scandal by refusing to comply with this new legislation? Or is the Scottish Government, yet again, intruding into family life, this time in the name of safety standards, as the Named Person Scheme is justified in the name of child protection? What next? What if the Scottish Government decides – in the name of improving mental health – that we all ought to learn a musical instrument and so we must all install a piano in the living room? Might seem like a crazy analogy but we live in crazy times!
On a serious note… Can any Government do that? Tell us what to install in our homes, post-purchase? Surely, it is up to each of us to decide what we want to place in our homes? Are we soon going to have to install burglar alarms? Are homes in London going to be required NOT to have knives, as part of the attempts to end the knife-crime epidemic there? Just where does the authority of politicians end, and the rights of the individual take precedence? Does the “woman’s right to choose” what happens to “her body” only apply to abortion? What about my female neighbour’s right to choose not to have a bunch of interlinked smoke and heat alarms installed to protect her body… Doesn’t she have that right to choose? Share your thoughts – and any legal expertise you may have lurking under your belt…
And to our readers in other parts of the UK – this is very likely to come to your neck of the woods as well, so, think on, as they say south of the border 😀