Scottish Government launches consultation into fire safety guidance

Annabelle Ewing
Annabelle Ewing

The Ministerial Working Group (MWG) on Building and Fire Safety, which was formed in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, has agreed to review fire safety guidance for Scotland’s homes.

A consultation has been launched to give people the chance to give their views on how the guidance can be improved.

Minister for community safety and legal affairs, Ms Annabelle Ewing, said: “After the awful loss of life at Grenfell we are determined to do all we can to ensure that the fire safety advice and standards expected in the buildings we live in are as strong and effective as they possibly can be.

“The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Government and local authorities have moved quickly to identify any potential risks. Since Grenfell, firefighters have undertaken over 1,000 Home Fire Safety Visits to those in high-rise buildings in Scotland; these are essential in helping detect risks in the home.

“This review and consolidation of existing guidance will look at what we can do to simplify or strengthen the fire safety advice for any residences where people sleep, provide the best possible resource for building owners and emergency services and reassure members of the public of their safety.”

The MWG has met six times for communities secretary Angela Constance, housing minister Kevin Stewart and Ms Ewing to hear updates from Scottish Government officials, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Glasgow City Council on progress to establish where aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding exists on high-rise buildings – the same cladding believed to be used on Grenfell Tower – to reassure residents that they are safe.

The council had previously revealed that 57 privately owned tower blocks that could have similar cladding to Grenfell Tower.

In addition to this review of guidance for residential accommodation, two established experts will take forward a review of building standards. Professor John Cole will chair the review of enforcement and compliance of building regulation and Dr Paul Stollard will chair the review of fire safety in building standards.

The Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Existing Premises with Sleeping Accommodation consultation will run until February 5.

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