Author Bio ▼

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
January 31, 2018

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Fire safety

One in four Fife schools do not have smoke detectors fitted

A Green Party MSP has warned one in four schools in Fife do not have smoke detectors fitted.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Mark Ruskell is set to raise the issue of fire safety in the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (1 February) after a Freedom of Information request he sent to the local authority revealed only 72% of the council’s schools are fitted with smoke detectors.

The requests also show 99% of the council’s school estate is fitted with automatic fire alarms.

Mr Ruskell sought the information following a fire at Cairneyhill Primary School in the Kingdom before Christmas.

‘Very worried’

“I am very worried that more than one in five Fife schools don’t have smoke detectors in place,” said Mr Ruskell.

“The recent fire at Cairneyhill was only discovered because a security alarm was activated – as there was no smoke detector in place. It doesn’t bear thinking about what the consequences might have been if that security alarm hadn’t triggered.

“It is often said in the aftermath of such incidents that lessons will be learned. It is vital that in this instance that really happens and we see the rollout of smoke detectors and fire alarms to all of Fife’s schools. I have written to the chief executive of Fife Council seeking assurances that this will happen immediately,” he added.

Fire plans

The council’s head of education and children’s services, Shelagh McLean, said: “Every school in Fife complies with regulations and has a fire plan in place.

“We apply the guidance contained in the Scottish Government Practical Fire Safety Guidance. By law our buildings have to be fitted with ‘appropriate…. means for giving warning in the event of fire’ (Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006).

“Our schools have robust systems in place to deal with emergency situations. Whether a school needs a fire alarm system is dependent on when the building was built and the layout of the school.

“All new builds have automatic fire detection systems with a link to the emergency services. And we take every opportunity to replace systems in older buildings as part of major alterations or renovation works,” she added.


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