Labour MSP launches bid to make sprinklers law in social housing

Written by Jenni Davidson on 16 January 2018 in News

Highlands and Islands MSP David Stewart wants sprinkler fitted in all social housing

David Stewart MSP - Image credit: Scottish Parliament

All new social housing in Scotland could be fitted with sprinklers if a Labour MSP’s proposal is passed by the Scottish Parliament.

Highlands and Islands MSP Dave Stewart is calling for it to become a duty for all local authorities and social landlords to install sprinklers in new social housing, something he says would save lives.

Increased concern about sprinklers comes in the wake of a fire in the Grenfell tower block in London, in which 71 people died.

In Scotland it has been the law that sprinklers must be fitted in all high-rise buildings above 18 metres since 2005, but there are no such rules for lower buildings.

Councils in Fife, Angus and Dundee already fit sprinklers in social housing as standard and Stewart’s law aims to make the practice a legal requirement across the whole country.

The consultation also considers whether sprinklers should be retrofitted in older high rises.

Stewart said: “The issue of fire safety has been more prominent over the last year for the most tragic of reasons.

“It is clear that lawmakers must take all of the action necessary to ensure the public are safe and my proposed bill aims to help do that.

“There has not been a single instance of multiple fire deaths in Scotland where a working sprinkler system has been installed, a statistic that serves to underline the case for installing sprinklers in all new social housing.

“I encourage as many members of public as possible to engage with my consultation and give their views on this important issue.”

The consultation will run for three months until 16 April.

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