Fire Patrol Rolled Out At Flats Amid Safety Issues

Fire experts are patrolling a flat complex in Glasgow 24 hours a day after fire safety issues were identified.

The “waking watch”, funded by the Scottish government, was rolled out after building developers failed to make necessary improvements.

The patrol will alert residents at Lancefield Quay on the River Clyde if a fire breaks out.

Housing Secretary Shona Robison urged developers to take responsibility for safety work on cladding.

The Scottish government received the fire engineer’s safety report recommending a waking watch in late December which was shared with the developers.

Despite urgent negotiations, an agreement has not been reached.

A letter sent to all residents said the patrol would remain at the development until longer-term measures were rolled out, such as the installation of an integrated alarm system.

The Scottish government said residents would have 24-hour protection from the team of fire experts, with the aim of giving residents early warning if a fire breaks out.

Ms Robison said: “We have been engaging urgently with the developers of these buildings, they must step up and take responsibility for work to keep the residents in their buildings safe.

“The safety of residents is our utmost priority – that’s why the Scottish government is intervening now to fund this work and ensure enhanced safeguards are in place as quickly as possible.

“Our negotiations with the developers are ongoing and it is my sincerest hope that a resolution can be found.

“These are temporary measures while improvements are made at this site – residents have been informed.”

The fire safety risks were identified following a single building assessment of the development as part of the cladding remediation programme.

Kaukab Stewart MSP for Glasgow Kelvin said: “I truly empathise with the situation people are in and I have been working with them over many months to find a solution to the issue of defective cladding.”

Concerns were raised over combustible cladding nationwide following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London in 2017, which killed 72 people.

Cladding regulations were already stricter in Scotland than the rest of the UK, due to legislation that had been introduced in 2005.

This followed a fatal fire at the Garnock Court tower block in Irvine in 1999.

Last year the Scottish government committed to expanding the country’s assessment programme for cladding on high-rise buildings to ensure residents were protected.

However, issues were raised around who would pay for any necessary replacements – the Scottish government, the developers or the homeowners.