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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Strengthening Fire Safety and Building Standards for Disabled People

Fire safety will be strengthened in new high rise buildings and facilities for people with disabilities improved in larger new buildings.

Changes to Scottish building standards published by the SNP Government include more stringent fire safety provisions for external wall cladding systems, coming into force on 01 October.

Additional fire escapes and the introduction of evacuation alert systems and storey identification signs will also help fire and rescue services in the unlikely event of a partial or full-scale evacuation.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart MSP said:

"The tragic events at Grenfell Tower just over two years ago was a painful reminder how important building and fire safety is.

"That’s why we established our Ministerial Working Group and undertook a thorough and critical review of the regulations we have in place. I'm pleased to see the first phase of this work is completed and changes to the building standards and guidance published.

“In addition, I am delighted this new guidance will help to increase the provision of much needed Changing Places Toilets, following our consultation earlier this year. This will improve the lives of thousands of families who are severely restricted by a lack of facilities and as a result find themselves excluded from their communities and travel.

“We want to see greater accessibility in all areas of Scotland, and I would encourage all businesses and organisations to help make this a reality for people.”

The revised Building Standards Technical Handbooks will apply from 01 October 2019. Additional escape stairs and storey identification signs will help fire and rescue services in the event of a partial or full-scale evacuation.

The new guidance will improve safety in new high-rise buildings, lowering the minimum building height at which non-combustible wall cladding is to be provided from 18 metres to 11 metres.

Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:

“Following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower in London in 2017, the SNP Government has been proactive in initiating any necessary legislative improvements, in consultation with Parliamentarians, fire safety experts and the wider public.

“The SNP Government immediately established a Ministerial Working Group to oversee a review of building and fire safety regulatory frameworks in Scotland and recommendations have been made.

“So far, measures have resulted in the obligation for every home in the country to have a smoke alarm fitted in the living room or lounge, and in circulation spaces such as hallways and landings. There must also be a carbon monoxide alarm where there are fixed combustion appliances.

“Further changes are being considered for impending legislative changes.”


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