Highlands and Islands MSP visits Westminster to talk about fire sprinklers
12th July 2018
A Highlands and Islands MSP is in Westminster today (Wednesday July 11) to talk to members of the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group to suggest ways the campaign for sprinklers can be progressed in England.
David Stewart will outline his experience of introducing a Member's Bill in the Scottish Parliament, leading a campaign for greater fire safety measures in Scottish social housing. He will also answer questions from MPs.
Last month the Scottish Government said it would take forward Mr Stewart's bill.
His proposed bill would have required fire sprinkler systems to be installed into all new-build social housing across Scotland, as a method of tackling Scotland's high rates of fire death and injury.
The plans received overwhelming support, with 94% of the consultation responses in favour and was supported by 60 MSPs from five political parties.
The Scottish Government said it would include the requirement for fire sprinklers in social housing as part of its response to the recommendations from the Building and Fire Safety Review Panels.
Mr Stewart intends to work closely with the Scottish Government and will continue to campaign to ensure that this new requirement makes it onto the statue books as soon as possible.
Westminster’s All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group is particularly supportive of retrofitting sprinklers into high-rise flats.
"Although the legislative process is different in England, I know there is growing interest in how sprinkler systems can avoid catastrophes, especially with Grenfell and the tragic loss of life," said Mr Stewart.
"Fire sprinklers have been proven time and time again to be effective in the fight against fire and I know that this move will save lives.
"I hope my research and experience can add to the campaign south of the border and my hope is that, as fire sprinkler technology becomes more widely used, eventually all homes will be protected by this life saving technology."
· Wales became the first country in the world in 2011 to pass a legislation making it compulsory for sprinklers to be introduced in all newly-built homes.