David Stewart MSP, Labour, is delighted that the Scottish Government has published guidance to the building industry, ahead of installing fire sprinklers in all new social housing with new regulations coming into effect next year.
The sprinklers will be a requirement in new flats, maisonettes and larger multi-occupancy dwellings including where care is provided.
The Highlands and Islands MSP has been a stalwart campaigner for improved fire safety and had introduced a private members Bill on 22nd of May 2018.
At a meeting with David Stewart MSP on 7 February 2019 the Housing Minister confirmed that mandatory requirements for new social housing would be taken forward through building standards.
David Stewart said:
“I’m delighted this is coming in before I retire as an MSP at next year’s election – what better than a life-saving ‘present’ at Christmas?
“Fire sprinklers have been proven time and time again to be effective in the fight against fire and I know that this move will save lives.
“There has always been strong backing for these plans from the public, the industry and other MSPs, especially in the light of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
“I would still like retro-fitting sprinklers in older properties to be considered, and although that is my longer term hope I understand the problems this would pose.”
Mr Stewart was told in 2018 that the Scottish Government was taking forward his campaign for greater fire safety methods in social housing.
David Stewart’s Member’s Bill which would require fire sprinkler systems to be installed into all new-build social housing across Scotland, as a method of tackling Scotland’s high rates of fire death and injury had received cross party support.
Commenting on the new regulations to be introduced , Stuart Stevens, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Assistant Chief Officer, said:
“The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service welcomes the amended regulations and the increased provision of automatic fire suppression systems. This provision is a significant step forward in fire safety and will increase the safety of our communities, residents and firefighters.”
You can view the new regulations here: Building standards technical handbooks 2020: summary of changes
Housing Minister in the Scottish Government, Kevin Stewart said:
“I am very grateful to David Stewart MSP for his work on bringing this important issue forward and gaining cross-parliament support.
“The increased requirements for automatic fire suppression systems will further improve fire safety for thousands of new homes each year. These systems have been proven to save lives and it is right that we now make these changes.
“We will continue to work closely with housing providers to make sure there is wide awareness of what is required ahead of the new regulations coming into effect.”