Strengthening fire safety and building standards

Improvements in fire safety and better facilities for people with disabilities.

Fire safety is to be strengthened in new high rise buildings and facilities for people with disabilities improved in larger new buildings.

Changes to Scottish building standards published today include more stringent fire safety provisions for external wall cladding systems, coming into force on 1 October.

Additional escape stairs and the introduction of evacuation alert systems and storey identification signs will also help fire and rescue services in the unlikely event of a partial or full-scale evacuation.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said:

"The tragic events at Grenfell Tower just over two years ago was a painful reminder how important building and fire safety is. 

"That is why we established our Ministerial Working Group and undertook a thorough and critical review of the regulations we have in place. I'm pleased to see the first phase of this work completed and changes to the building standards and guidance published today.

“In addition, I am delighted this new guidance will help to increase the provision of much needed Changing Places Toilets, following our consultation earlier this year. This will improve the lives of thousands of families who are severely restricted by a lack of facilities and as a result find themselves excluded from their communities and travel.

“We want to see greater accessibility in all areas of Scotland, and I would encourage all businesses and organisations to help make this a reality for people.”


The revised Building Standards Technical Handbooks will apply from 1 October 2019. Additional escape stairs and storey identification signs will help fire and rescue services in the event of a partial or full-scale evacuation.

The new guidance will improve safety in new high-rise buildings, lowering the minimum building height at which non-combustible wall cladding is to be provided from 18 metres to 11 metres.

Following a separate Changing Places Toilets consultation the range and accessibility of sanitary facilities for people with more complex care needs in larger, new buildings is to be increased.


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