Strengthening Fire Safety for High Rise Domestic Buildings

Closed 17 Jul 2019

Opened 24 Apr 2019

Feedback Updated 8 Jan 2020

We Asked

Following the fire at Grenfell Tower in 2017, the Scottish Government Ministerial Working Group (MWG) on Building and Fire Safety commissioned three reviews including the Review of the Fire Safety Regime in Scotland for High Rise Domestic Property.  Whilst it concluded there were no gaps in legislation it made Recommendations to strengthen fire safety in high rise domestic properties. 

The “Strengthening Fire Safety for High Rise Domestic Buildings” public consultation  gathered information and views on the proposed actions from four Recommendations,

  • Specific Fire Safety Guidance aimed at all residents of high rise domestic buildings.
  • Introduction of Scottish Guidance concerning “Fire Safety in purpose-built block of flats”.
  • Introduction of Scottish Guidance concerning Fire Risk Assessments.
  • A Fire Safety campaign relative to common areas.

You Said

The consultation received 70 responses 35 individuals and 35 organisations with an interest in fire safety in high rise domestic.

The majority of respondents supported the fire safety guidance for residents and the content on fire safety prevention and protection.  There was clear preference for information to be provided in a leaflet and available on-line.  There was emphasis on the information being easy to understand and accessible to a diverse audience.  The “Stay Put” advice was valued but the request was to ensure it was clear and consistent and contained some explanation.

Respondents welcomed information and a campaign to encourage people not to leave items in common areas.  It was agreed that images that illustrated good and potentially fire risk situation would be helpful. 

Respondents supported the single source of Guidance, covering general fire safety and fire risk assessments, aimed at those responsible for fire safety in high rise buildings.  There was widespread support for more information on the ‘stay put’ principle.  A large minority were unclear on processes and effectiveness of removal of item in common areas.   

Respondents expressed some concern around how to ensure the competence of individuals carrying out risk assessments.

We Did

We published an analysis of the consultation responses on 04 December 2019. This can be found here:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/consultation-strengthening-fire-safety-high-rise-domestic-buildings-analysis-responses/

A new fire safety information leaflet aimed at high rise buildings residents was designed with a strong emphasis on  simplicity, clarity and accessibility. It has been delivered to all flats in high rise buildings in Scotland.  It is available on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) website (https://www.firescotland.gov.uk).        

A campaign on fire safety in the common areas of high rise domestic buildings is planned for early 2020.  The campaign will be delivered through a variety of mediums and will also comprise posters and social media.

These were delivered with key stakeholders in housing and resident organisations. A toolkit with information, posters and on-line resources was developed and provided to support them.

The “Stay Put” information has been checked to ensure it is clear and consistent in the Fire Safety in high Rise Domestic Buildings leaflet and Guidance.   It is in line with the most up to date advice from the National Fire Chiefs Council and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. This was accompanied by a rationale explaining the concept and resulting advice.

The Guidance for those responsible for fire safety in high rise buildings addresses the competency of risk assessors.  All assessors must have the necessary skills and capabilities to undertake the fire safety risk assessment.  Where external specialists are used, the Guidance recommends those who are members of UKAS accredited certification schemes or similar professional registration schemes.  This offers assurance that an external assessor meets the professional requirements of a recognised scheme.

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry is an independent public inquiry, set up to examine the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017.  The Phase 1 report was published on 30 October 2019.  The Scottish Government is studying the findings and assess if there are lessons from which to learn to further strengthen safety in buildings and update guidance accordingly. More information can be found at the website https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/

Associated Documents

“Practical fire safety guidance for existing high rise domestic buildings”- https://www.gov.scot/publications/practical-fire-safety-guidance-existing-high-rise-domestic-buildings/

“Fire safety in high rise domestic buildings: business and regulatory impact assessment” - https://www.gov.scot/publications/business-regulatory-impact-assessment-strengthening-fire-safety-domestic-high-rise-property/

“Fire safety in high rise domestic buildings: equality impact assessment” - https://www.gov.scot/publications/equality-impact-assessment-results-2/

Published Responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

Overview

The Scottish Government is gathering information and views on proposed actions to strengthen fire safety for people who live in high rise domestic buildings. We will use the responses to improve and refine the proposed actions on strengthening fire safety in high rise domestic buildings. The responses will also inform how these actions should best be implemented to ensure their effectiveness.

The proposed actions are aimed at delivering the five recommendations from the Review of the Fire Safety Regime for High Rise Domestic Buildings in Scotland. These were agreed by the Scottish Government Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety that was set up following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower. There is separate work underway regarding the sixth recommendation to produce fire safety guidance for specialised housing.

Why High Rise Domestic Buildings?

The Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety focused on high rise domestic buildings following the Grenfell Tower fire in London.

What is a High Rise Domestic Building?

A high rise domestic building is a domestic building with any storey at a height of more than 18 metres above the ground – generally more than 6 storeys.

The Guidance in Part 3 of this consultation is not applicable to buildings above 60 m – roughly 20 floors. Specialist advice should be sought for buildings of this height. We are still interested in hearing views from people who live in, or are responsible for, buildings of this size.

 Who is this consultation for?

Everyone who lives in, or is responsible for fire safety in high rise domestic buildings is encouraged to respond to the consultation. This includes:

  • Those who live in high rise domestic buildings.
  • Building Owners.
  • Managers.
  • Property Factors.
  • Property Advisors.
  • People with responsibility for Fire Safety.
  • Anyone else with views and ideas.

Not everything in the consultation will be relevant to you – please feel free to skip sections or questions that you do not want to answer. 

Read the Consultation Paper here.

Please note there are two downloadable versions. One including an Annex containing guidance for those responsible for fire safety in high rise buildings and one with this Annex removed.

This is so that the file is smaller and easier to download/print if you do not require or have an interest in the technical guidance.

 

 

 

What Happens Next

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public at http://consult.gov.scot. If you use the consultation hub to respond, you will receive a copy of your response via email.

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so. An analysis report will also be made available.

Interests

  • Public Safety and Emergencies