Fire safety is important for all of us and it is particularly important for those who are most vulnerable to the risk of fire.
Despite a significant downward trend in the last 20 years, most fire deaths and injuries still occur in the home and older people, physically disabled people, people with cognitive difficulties and people with mental health issues are known to be at increased risk.
Following the Grenfell Tower fire, a review of the Fire Safety Regime in Scotland for High Rise Domestic Buildings was initiated. A report was published following this review which can be accessed here. In addition to providing a range of recommendations for high rise domestic buildings (which have themselves been subject to a recent public consultation), it identified a lack of fire safety guidance for the protection of people who are most vulnerable to fire. Although not specific to high rise domestic property, the review consequently recommended the introduction of Scottish guidance for specialised housing.
It is important that those who are involved in the provision of housing and care services in domestic accommodation also consider the risk from fire, as part of their general responsibility to ensure the safety of residents. By using a combination of person-centred and premises based risk assessment approaches, appropriate measures should be put in place to prevent fires and to protect individuals in the event of fire. To help achieve this the Scottish Government has produced draft guidance and is now seeking views from all those with an interest in this area. I encourage you to take this opportunity to give us your views and to help ensure that the guidance is relevant, accessible and will work in practice.
Ash Denham MSP
Minister for Community Safety