Council propose enhanced fire safety measures in high rise buildings

The high flats at West Bridgend in Dumbarton at times of flooding.

By Lauren Crooks

West Dunbartonshire Council is seeking comments from the Scottish Government on a plan to introduce enhanced fire safety measures across the area’s high rise buildings.

The  proposed programme of further enhancements, including  upgrades to window panels in 11 blocks, as well as installation of sprinkler systems within waste rooms, fire detection measures added in all service areas, fire detectors and alarms in common areas and manual call points installed across all 19 of our properties,  seek to exceed all current safety standards.

The new plan was developed following an enhanced Fire Safety Risk Assessment, which the Council instructed to be undertaken by an external fire safety specialist.

The proposed programme of works was discussed and agreed by members of the Council’s Housing and Communities Committee last week (Wednesday 4 November).

The proposal will now be passed to the Scottish Government ministerial working group for comment on the different options outlined. Following this, the finalised plan will be considered at a future meeting of West Dunbartonshire Council. It is anticipated that the proposed measures will mean the area’s existing high rise buildings match or exceed standards currently being developed by the Scottish Government for new build properties.

Members were told that in addition to physical safety enhancements, blocks have also seen changes in the management of buildings, with a designated officer responsible for each block and the Neighbourhood Team patrolling buildings in evenings and at weekends.

Cllrs Caroline McAllister, Diane Docherty and West Bridgend.

Councillor Diane Docherty, Convener of Housing and Communities, said: “We want our residents to feel safe in their homes, and these proposed enhancements are designed to ensure our high rise flats are the safest they can possibly be.

“This will now be passed to the Scottish Government ministerial working group for their feedback before we progress this further.”

Councillor Caroline McAllister, Vice Convener of Housing and Communities, added: “It’s vital to reassure all tenants and residents that fire safety in our high rise blocks is of paramount importance. Whilst we already comfortably meet the safety standards, as a landlord we believe it is important to enhance those standards where possible and the proposed measures will ensure the properties remain in high demand for decades to come.”

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