A speedy response from all of Scotland’s local authorities and other landlords has confirmed than none of their tower blocks have been clad in the inflammable aluminium composite used at Grenfell. The group which ordered the survey and response has also initiated these actions:
- The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) will continue to carry out additional operational assurance visits to high-rise buildings. Since the Grenfell Tower fire, over 200 visits have been carried out by the SFRS to residents in high-rise buildings.
- Work already underway to develop a common standard of housing quality across both private and social rented housing, as well as to consult on and review standards for fire and smoke detectors, will be expedited.
- The Working Group will also consider current regulations and evidence base for sprinkler systems to determine if further action should be taken.
I think the last point is of particular interest when you consider the widespread use of sprinkler systems in tower blocks used for commercial purposes. It’s good to see this speedy response regardless of the initial reactions suggesting that such a disaster was already thought to be much less likely in Scotland. You might remember these comments at the time.
Jim Millar, a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and former housing convener at Angus Council was quoted as saying without giving specific evidence: ‘I’m quite confident that something like this would not happen to this extent in Scotland.’
Also, this reference, which now seems accurate, to the regulations was made:
‘Generally, the requirements in Scotland are more onerous that those in England and Wales or Northern Ireland….In Scotland the AS Fire Resistant Wall system should be used for all walls which require a fire resistance period. See Scottish Building Standards Technical Handbook Section 2 for details of boundary conditions and fire resistance requirements.’
I hope this news will put a few minds at ease.