Improved fire safety for new flats and social homes

Guidance has been published for the housebuilding industry ahead of new regulations on sprinklers coming into effect next year.

Improved fire safety for new flats and social homes

Housing minister Kevin Stewart

The changes mean all new-build social homes, flats, and shared multi-occupied residential buildings must be fitted with automatic fire suppression systems from March 2021.

Previously, this was only required in new high rise blocks of flats above 18 metres.

It comes after David Stewart MSP proposed a private members bill to improve safety in new social housing following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

A number of outreach events are being held with providers of new homes in the run-up to implementation next March.

Housing minister 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.”

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.”

This work was taken forward as part of the Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety, immediately formed following the Grenfell Tower fire in London.

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