A Freedom of Information request has revealed that 124 school buildings in ten of the 32 local authority areas in Scotland have no smoke detectors. The Scottish schools at risk from fire are situated in Glasgow, Fife and the Highlands – and Aberdeenshire council did not even know which of their schools had smoke detectors fitted.
Over 120 Scottish Schools Lacking Smoke Detectors
The issue was raised in Holyrood by MSP for Mid-Scotland, and Fife Mark Ruskell following a school fire in his constituency, which it turned out did not have an automatic fire alarm. He said: “Schools deserve the best fire alarm and smoke detection equipment, councils can’t take shortcuts, we are talking about relatively small sums of money to bring every school in Scotland up to a higher standard. Fire safety legislation must be updated for the 21st Century to provide the best protection. An automatic smoke detection system could help prevent a school from being gutted by fire outside of school hours.”
Scottish Schools at Risk From Fire
Highland Council was the worst offender, with 51 schools without a single smoke detector – representing more than a quarter of all its educational buildings – but a spokesperson said the systems are being replaced. Fife had 32 schools without smoke detectors, North Lanarkshire had 14, and Dumfries and Galloway had ten. There were five in Glasgow, three each in Moray and Falkirk, and two in Midlothian, Angus and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. All of the authorities claimed to be operating within the fire safety rules, as they used older manual alarm systems.
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