High-rise blocks in Aberdeen are among the safest places to live, according to the north-east’s leading fire chief.
Area Commander Bruce Farquharson spoke to Aberdeen City Council’s public protection committee about the steps taken in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in London two years ago, which killed more than 70 people.
Annual inspections are carried out at each of Aberdeen’s 59 residential tower blocks, while the cladding blamed for the Grenfell tragedy is not installed on any of them.
And Mr Farquharson reassured residents they are not at risk by living in the premises.
He said: “Residents should be assured that they continue to be extremely safe places to live. You are absolutely not at increased risk if you live there.
“The premises have inherent safety measures built into them. In relation to the cladding which caused the issue at Grenfell, there are no high-rises in Aberdeen which have that type of cladding. It does not exist in Aberdeen.
“Additionally, Aberdeen City Council has further enhanced the safety features in the high-rises.”
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He added that the fire service’s advice to “stay put” in the event of a blaze continues to be the safest course of action.
He said: “The ‘stay put’ guidance has come under scrutiny on a national level. The advice is based on the inherent safety points within the blocks.
“Residents are safer in their own homes. We don’t want to create panic and tell people they should be evacuating which might cause a far more dangerous situation.
“The ‘stay put’ policy will remain our default position until further notice.”
Committee convener Jennifer Stewart said: “The high-rises in Aberdeen are safe and are built to enhance safety.
“We can give that message out to Aberdeen loud and clear and hopefully other city councils take up the good practices we have here.”
It follows as the Scottish Government has published a fire safety advice leaflet to prevent another incident like the Grenfell Tower disaster in London.
Published on Tuesday, the leaflets will be distributed to tenants in high-rise buildings as well as the people responsible for the properties across 15 local authorities.
As well as telling residents how best to prevent a fire, the leaflets also instruct people on what to do if a blaze does break out.