Public views sought on strengthening high-rise fire safety following Grenfell

24 April 2019, 07:20

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People who live in high-rise flats are being asked to give their views in a public consultation on strengthening fire safety in the buildings.

To comply with recommendations made following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the Scottish Government plans to simplify guidance to high-rise flat residents and those responsible for fire safety there.

Ministers also propose holding a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of dumping rubbish or unwanted items in common areas in the flats.

The recommendations made by a ministerial working group set up following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 include creating a consistent position regarding the storage, removal and enforced prohibition of combustible materials in common areas and the introduction of Scottish guidance on fire risk assessments, as well as the safety campaign and streamlining guidance.

Community Safety Minister Ash Denham said: "The tragic events at Grenfell Tower emphasised how important building and fire safety is.

"In Scotland we have stringent regulations but are committed to further improving the safety of those living in high-rise flats.

"We want everyone who is responsible for fire safety in high rise domestic buildings to have easy access to guidance that is relevant, informative and will work in practice.

"The public's views, particularly people and families living in high-rise flats, are vital in this process and I would encourage everyone with an interest to respond to our consultation and ensure their voice is heard."

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Assistant Chief Officer Ross Haggart said: "We are fully supportive of this consultation and any efforts to enhance the safety of residents within high rise premises.

"I would like to take this opportunity to remind communities across Scotland that we are here to support them to stay safe, most notably through our free Home Fire Safety Visits where firefighters will provide safety advice and guidance on what to do in the event of an emergency."

He said high-rise safety information is available on the service's website and added: "We will meanwhile continue to routinely carry out operational assurance visits at high rise premises for the purposes of checking facilities and arrangements for firefighting and firefighter safety."

The consultation closes on July 17.