News Article

Fire Sprinklers Scotland

08 - 03 - 2021

New Regulations For Fire Sprinklers In Scotland

Scotland to Make Fire Sprinklers Mandatory in New Build Multi Occupancy Residential Buildings From March 2021

Updated sprinkler regulations will require new flats, maisonettes, social housing and shared multi-occupancy residential buildings be fitted with automatic fire suppression systems in Scotland.

The Scottish government published updated Building standards technical handbooks 2020 last December. One of the main changes introduced by these documents is a requirement for automatic fire suppression systems in all new flats, maisonettes, new social housing dwellings and new shared multi-occupancy residential buildings. The revised standards and supporting guidance apply to all building warrants submitted on or after 1 March 2021.

Previously, fire sprinklers were only required in new high-rise blocks of flats above 18 metres.

These changes are the results of work by the Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety which was established in mid 2017. The role of this group is to oversee reviews of building and fire safety regulations, frameworks and guidance, and any other relevant matters, to help ensure that people are safe in Scotland’s buildings. The initial focus of the group was on high rise domestic buildings, following the Grenfell Tower fire in London. It has also considered other buildings including housing, the NHS estate, schools and prisons. A review panel on fire safety standards was subsequently set up, which has now resulted in various changes to fire safety standards. Including updating cladding requirements on buildings over 11m, escape provision in buildings over 18 m and the introduction of sprinklers to a wider range of housing.

This change in legislation is the result of actions by David Stewart, the regional MSP for Highland and Islands. He launched a members’ bill in October 2017 that placed a ‘duty of care on local authorities and housing associations to install sprinklers in new-build social housing.’ On 22 May 2018, the regional MSP brought forward the final proposal for the bill, and on 20 June 2018 it was reported that Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, had confirmed that the Scottish government will take forward the bill to make it a legal requirement. 

If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to get in touch. Sprinklers Direct have expert teams based in Scotland that can help with the design and installation of fire sprinklers systems. We will be delighted to discuss your requirements and provide you with a quote for the work.

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