A private members bill is set to be put to the Scottish Parliament for sprinklers to be installed in all new social housing. A public consultation showed more than 90 per cent of respondents were in favour. MSP David Stewart launched the public consultation and has now lodged a formal proposal. If his bill wins support, Scotland will follow Cornwall and make the installation of sprinklers the norm in new affordable housing.
Responses to Mr Stewart’s consultation were 94 per cent in favour of sprinklers. The private members bill will now need to find support from at least 18 other MSPs to be taken forward.
Social housing fire safety
Mr Stewart, a member of Scottish Labour, said: “I am delighted with the overwhelming support for my proposal to increase fire safety in Scottish social housing. The consultation responses came from across the breadth of Scottish society and the quality of the responses have given me a strong base upon which to proceed with the bill.”
He continued: “Automatic fire suppression systems should be a crucial part of our fire safety approach and are a tried and tested method of saving lives. By focusing on social housing, my bill aims to protect some of the most vulnerable in our society, where the risks of fire are highest. My hope is that such a common sense proposal will have the support across all the Holyrood parties and in the long term will be just the first step towards fire sprinklers protecting all Scottish homes.”
Sprinkler Association and social housing
Keith MacGillivray, who is chief executive of the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA), said: “The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association are pleased to see the strong public support for the proposals by David Stewart MSP to improve fire safety in Scotland by requiring the installation of automatic fire suppression systems (sprinklers) into all new-built social housing.
“BAFSA has campaigned for almost forty-five years to improve the safety of the public and Firefighters by the installation of automatic fire sprinklers, which control and extinguish fires in their very early stages. Automatic fire sprinklers have a proven track record for the mitigation of fire and the prevention of loss of life through fire, this goes back more than one hundred years. This proposed member’s bill would make a significant difference to the safety of the Scottish public and firefighters while ensuring that Scotland’s housing stock is more sustainable.”
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