High-rise flat res­i­dents to have say on strength­en­ing fire safety

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY LOUISE HOUS­TON

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 high­rise 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.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment plans to sim­plify guid­ance to high-rise flat res­i­dents

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