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Last edited 20 Aug 2021
Scottish Advice Note addresses fire risk in multi-storey residential buildings
On 4 August 2021, the Scottish Government issued Scottish Advice Note (SAN) Determining the fire risk posed by external wall systems in existing multi-storey residential buildings. It provides advice for those parties (including building owners/managers/residents groups and others) responsible for determining the fire risk posed by external wall systems on existing multi-storey residential buildings.
 Risk assessment parameters
Determining the level of risk requires a fire safety risk assessment and, in some cases, an intrusive appraisal of the external wall system. The aim of both is to ensure that people are not placed at undue risk of harm as a result of fire spread over or within the external wall system.
Protecting people from the spread of fire on external wall systems is just one element which needs to be considered as part of a fire safety risk assessment. The assessment is a wide ranging exercise which involves a methodical and holistic consideration of all fire hazards and risks which impact on life safety. Existing fire safety measures must be evaluated and a judgement made about whether they are adequate or if more needs to be done.
 External wall systems covered
Systems covered under this SAN include the external wall cladding system (including cavity barriers and any insulation material behind the outer cladding), spandrel panels, window infill panels, balconies, solar shading and any other architectural feature or attachment to the external building structure. It includes mixed-use properties as well as solely residential properties.
The main body of the SAN is structured so that:
- Part 1 includes general advice for those with responsibility for fire safety.
- Part 2 includes technical advice for those who are suitably qualified to undertake fire safety risk assessments and appraisals.
 Structures covered
Structures covered include:
- Blocks of domestic flats (such as sheltered, extra-care and supported flats).
- Student accommodation (including halls of residence).
- Hospitals or other premises with overnight patient accommodation.
- Care homes.
- Hotels and hostels.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- ACM cladding.
- Cladding for buildings.
- Fire fatalities in Scotland.
- Fire in buildings.
- Fire performance of external thermal insulation for walls of multistorey buildings, third edition (BR 135).
- Fire risk in high-rise and super high-rise buildings DG 533.
- Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.
- Grenfell Tower fire.
- HPL cladding.
- Interlinked fire alarm safety laws in Scotland.
- Scottish building standards.
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