MSP calls for sprinklers in new housing in Scotland
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16 January 2018
A Member of the Scottish Parliament is to bring forward legislation to have sprinklers installed in all new-build social housing in Scotland.
Labour's David Stewart has launched a consultation on a members bill to make sprinklers mandatory in new buildings.
Inquiries following the Grenfell Tower tragedy showed that hundreds of housing blocks in Scotland do not have life-saving fire suppression systems.
The Scottish government said sprinklers were one of a number of measures being considered in an ongoing safety review.
A BBC Scotland investigation found that there were no fire-suppression systems in flats in more than 300 high-rise buildings in towns and cities across the country.
The BBC also obtained figures showing that of 15 fatalities and 480 injuries in high-rise fires in Scotland since 2009, only one of the casualties occurred in a flat fitted with a sprinkler system.
Mr Stewart's proposed legislation would place a duty on councils and registered social landlords to install automatic fire suppression systems into all newly-constructed social housing.
A consultation on his members bill will run until 16 April, and will also seek views on what action can be taken to retrofit sprinklers into existing high-rise housing blocks.
He said: "The scandal of Grenfell last summer was that protection was not available to those who were most in need.
"That is why I am making this common sense proposal to ensure all new social housing has a sprinkler system installed. This simple change in law is a practical step that will save lives."
A spokeswoman for the Scottish government said: "Residential sprinklers are one of a number of fire safety measures currently being considered by our review into building fire safety standards chaired by Dr Paul Stollard."