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Scottish fire safety standards improve for high rises

Fire safety standards for new high rise buildings in Scotland become more stringent and disabled facilities are improved in larger new buildings following the changes imposed building standards that were published on Friday 12th July 2019.

The bolstered new fire safety provisions primarily concern external wall cladding systems and will be implemented through the revisions published in the Building Standards Technical Handbooks on Tuesday 1st October 2019.

Provisions featured within these new revisions include additions of further escape stairs, introducing evacuation alert systems, and storey identification signs which will be useful to fire and rescue service teams in the improbable event of partial or full-scale evacuations.

The provisions will also lower the minimum building height at which non-combustible wall cladding is to be fitting to high rises from 18 metres to 11 metres.

The Scottish Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart stated: “The tragic events at Grenfell Tower just over two years ago was a painful reminder how important building and fire safety is.

“That is why we established our Ministerial Working Group and undertook a thorough and critical review of the regulations we have in place. I’m pleased to see the first phase of this work completed and changes to the building standards and guidance published today.”

And, furthermore, after a separate ‘Changing Places and Toilets consultation’ the range and accessibility of sanitary facilities for individuals with more complex care needs in larger new buildings is to be increased.

Minister Stewart added: “In addition, I am delighted this new guidance will help to increase the provision of much needed Changing Places Toilets, following our consultation earlier this year. This will improve the lives of thousands of families who are severely restricted by a lack of facilities and as a result find themselves excluded from their communities and travel.

“We want to see greater accessibility in all areas of Scotland, and I would encourage all businesses and organisations to help make this a reality for people.”

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