RIAS call for sprinkler installations in all public buildings
January 11 2023
The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) has called for the retroactive installation of sprinklers in all public buildings following the publication of a report into the 2017 Cameron House Hotel fire.
Sheriff Thomas McCartney observed that a sprinkler system may have been decisive in preventing the deaths of Simon Midgley and Richard Dyson, agreeing with the recommendations of expert witnesses, including architect Peter Drummond and Gary Love, retired watch manager of the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service.
Critically the report calls for fire assessment guidance to be expanded to take account of the specific risks associated with historic buildings.
In their response to the Cameron House fatal accident inquiry, the architect's body wrote: "The RIAS believes 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. In many cases – particularly with regard to historic buildings – there are complexities and technicalities that may need to be overcome. However, we agree with the Sheriff that any issues of complexity are outweighed by potential safety benefits.
"Our position is clear: there should be no legislative, financial or technical obstacles to ensuring public safety."
In the New Year, three guests were killed at Perth's New County Hotel following another blaze.
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