Fire sprinklers in all new build social housing: result of David Stewart’s Bill

A media release was published today by the Scottish Government as a follow on from Labour MSP David Stewart’s Private Member’s Bill on the installation of fire sprinklers. New regulations will be coming into effect next year for improved safety in new social housing following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

Guidance has now been published for the house building industry.

See the Government release here:

https://www.gov.scot/news/improved-fire-safety-for-new-flats-and-social-homes/

The Highlands and Islands MSP is delighted that guidance is now going out 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.

“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?” said Mr Stewart.

“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.

He previously proposed a 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.

The plans received overwhelming support, with 94% of the consultation responses in favour and over 50 MSPs, from across all five political parties, signed up in support of the Bill’s final proposal.