Hundreds of Scottish tower blocks ‘have no sprinklers’

Reviews have been carried out across Scotland following the Grenfell Tower disaster. Picture; PA
Reviews have been carried out across Scotland following the Grenfell Tower disaster. Picture; PA
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More than 300 tower blocks in Scotland do not have sprinkler systems, according to a BBC investigation.

Blocks built after 2005 must have sprinklers fitted by law, but figures have shown that hundreds of people are living in older high-rises where no system exists.

It comes after a devastating fire at Grenfell Tower, west London, claimed the lives of at least 80 people last month, a building which was not fitted with the devices.

According to BBC Scotland, only one council or housing association - South Ayrshire Council - said it had retrofitted sprinkler systems to a high-rise.

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But the figures reveal 67 blocks in Glasgow, 59 in Aberdeen and 48 in Edinburgh and North Lanarkshire are without the devices, with a total of 319 across the country.

A senior firefighter said sprinklers were a “proven” way to prevent the spread of fire in buildings and could “drastically reduce the threat to life”.

Dave Curry, chief officer for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “While we may be unable to speculate on the specifics of the Grenfell Tower incident, history tells us that, sadly, lives have been lost in previous high-rise fires. This includes two of our Hampshire firefighters in Shirley Towers in Southampton in 2010.

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“Following the inquest into Shirley Towers, the coroner recommended the retrofitting of sprinklers be considered in all high-rise blocks. This was also the case following the Lakanal House fire in London in 2009, in which six people died.

“Yet disasters such as last week’s are still capable of occurring.

“Since Shirley Towers, we have campaigned for the installation of sprinklers in high-rise buildings and I believe that, as a country, we must now commit to the installation of these life-saving devices in all high-rise blocks.

“Time and again, sprinklers have been proven to prevent the spread of fire in buildings and drastically reduce the threat to life.”