News Article

Hotel Fire

01 - 02 - 2023

RIAS call for sprinklers to be mandatory in all public buildings

The RIAS (Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) has said that sprinklers should be made mandatory in all public buildings following the inquiry into a fire in a Scottish hotel.

A fatal accident inquiry was held last year to establish if lessons could be learned from the tragic fire at Cameron House hotel. Two people died in the blaze at the luxury hotel on the banks of Loch Lomond in December 2017.

In his findings, Sheriff McCartney said there were precautions which could realistically have avoided the fire breaking out. The sheriff made a number of recommendations in his report, which included that the Scottish government should consider introducing a requirement for sprinkler systems to be installed when historic buildings are converted to hotels.

But the RIAS believes the recommendation should be taken further and applied to all buildings used by the general public.

At the time there were no fire sprinklers in the building, which dates to the 1600s and converted to a hotel in 1985. The Scottish fire and rescue service gave evidence at the inquiry and said it would have been reasonable for the hotel to have fire sprinklers. The hotel’s operators said the building’s age made this impractical, although they have now had them installed.

The RIAS response to the enquiry said:

“sprinklers save lives, and that the time has come for the Scottish government to legislate for the retrospective installation of sprinkler systems in all buildings used by the general public.”

“though historic buildings like Cameron House Hotel, could have ‘complexities and technicalities’ that would need to be overcome, these would be ‘outweighed by [the] potential safety benefits.”

“Our position is clear: there should be no legislative, financial or technical obstacles to ensuring public safety.”

Read more about the RIAS’ comments on the enquiry here.

Sprinklers Direct Ltd have a wealth of experience in designing and fitting fire sprinklers in historic buildings. If you require any assistance please get in touch to speak to one of our experts.

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