Fire safety in high rise domestic buildings: analysis of consultation responses

Analysis and key findings from our consultation on strengthening fire safety in high rise domestic buildings.

3. Introduction

3.1 Background

Following the fire at the Grenfell Tower, London on 14 June 2017, the Scottish Government set up a Ministerial Working Group (MWG) to oversee the Reviews of building and fire safety regulatory frameworks and any other relevant matters in order to make recommendations for improvement. Its primary objective is to ensure that people are safe in Scottish buildings.

Since the MWG was set up, three key Reviews have taken place. One Review Panel looked at Building Standards (Fire Safety) in Scotland which placed emphasis on reviewing functional standards and associated guidance for building work.

The second review focused its attention on Building Standards Compliance and Enforcement, looking at current operations of the building standards system including strengths, weaknesses, potential changes and improvements.

In addition to the two Reviews detailed above, the MWG also conducted a Review of the Scottish Fire Safety Regime for Domestic High Rise Property. The 2018 report produced from the Review made 6 recommendations to improve fire safety, which were accepted by the MWG. These were;

1. Specific fire safety guidance aimed at all residents of high rise domestic buildings.

2. Introduction of Scottish guidance concerning 'Fire safety in purpose built blocks of flats'.

3. Introduction of Scottish guidance concerning fire risk assessments.

4. Develop a consistent position regarding the storage, removal and enforced prohibition of combustible materials in common areas to be devised and agreed by all relevant stakeholders (including SFRS and Local Authorities).

5. A 'fire safety campaign relative to common areas'.

6. Introduction of Scottish guidance concerning 'fire safety in specialised housing'.

This current consultation focuses on Recommendations 1, 2, 3 and 5.

Guidance developed as part of the 6th recommendation was consulted on separately.

High rise domestic buildings are classed as any domestic building with any storey at a height of eighteen metres plus above ground. This generally applies to those with more than six storeys.

The consultation contained 48 questions all of which had an open question for respondents to provide their views. The consultation was split into three parts:

Part 1 - Fire Safety Information for People Who Live in High Rise Domestic Buildings.

Part 2 - Fire Safety Campaign relative to Common Areas.

Part 3 - Fire Safety in Existing High-Rise Domestic Buildings Guidance, including Fire Risk Assessments.

*Please be aware that some of the base responses for the quantitative questions are small especially when broken down further into different respondent groups.

This consultation which closed on 17th July 2019, sought the views and opinions of people living in high rise buildings and key stakeholders including:

Building Owners
Property Factors
Property Advisors
People with responsibility for Fire Safety
Anyone else with views and ideas

The consultation sought to inform the proposed actions on strengthening fire safety in high rise domestic buildings and improve and refine them where required. The received responses is to aid action implementation in order to ensure effectiveness.

Prior to the consultation launch 4 engagement events were held in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen to help inform the consultation questions and get some initial feedback on some of the questions asked in the consultation. Particularly on the kinds of fire safety information that would be helpful for those living in high rise domestic buildings to be provided with.

Pye Tait Consulting was commissioned to objectively and comprehensively analyse all responses received to the consultation and identify the key themes.



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