New Scottish safety regulations issued for fire


The Scottish government is implementing new regulations for fire safety that include some measures stronger than those enforced in England.

From October, brand new building standards will come into force that forbid combustible building materials being used in structures with heights over 11 metres as opposed to the 18 metres permitted in England. The use of combustible materials will be allowed, however, if justified by a BS-8414 test which analyses fire safety on a large scale.

The enhanced safety regulations also stipulate that brand-new tall buildings must possess at least two exits for use in the event of fire, a rule not currently employed in England.

The new mandate will insist that cladding of external walls in building taller than 11 metres should be made using only materials with a European standard non-combustible A1 or A2 classification. This additional clause has been extended to cover materials utilised to manufacture solar shading and panels, as well as balconies. Presently, England and Wales regulations only ban combustible material on the external walls of buildings over 18 metres in height.

The Government of Scotland assembled a working group of ministers following the fire at London’s Grenfell tower in 2017 and tasked them with reviewing all regulations for fire safety.

Kevin Stewart, minister for local housing and planning, said:

“The tragic events at Grenfell Tower just over two years ago were a painful reminder of how important building and fire safety is.”

In addition to the new cladding and exit regulations, storey identification signage and alert systems for evacuation have also been implemented.

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