The Fire Brigades Union has demanded an urgent meeting with SNP ministers over concerns a controversial proposal to improve ventilation in schools could be unsafe.
It was revealed this week that councils would be handed extra cash from the Scottish Government in a bid to improve air flow in classrooms – a move considered vital to limit the spread of coronavirus among pupils.
Among the ideas was a plan to chop the bottoms off from doors in classrooms which have the highest CO2 readings – a proposal that has since been ridiculed.
In a letter to MSPs on Wednesday, education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said about 2,000 classes needed improved ventilation across Scotland, at an estimated cost of £4.3 million.
Air filters and mechanical fans, at a cost of £1.6 million and £2.4 million respectively, would be employed – along with £300,000 spent to “undercut” doors, which was seized on by opposition politicians.
The funding will be paid out by a £5 million increase in capital funding for schools paid to councils.
But union bosses have today raised concerns about the proposal as they believe it could compromise the fire safety of classrooms by putting students, staff and firefighters in danger.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) also wants to discuss the recent change in law which means that Scots households must have interlinked fire alarms.
Ian Sim, FBU Scotland regional secretary said: “The safety of school students and staff, our members and the general public is paramount.
“At the moment there is too much uncertainty and mixed messaging over these two very important fire safety issues, in particular, the potential fire risk that comes from undercutting doors. The doors affected could potentially include fire doors.
“We need clarity and certainty over these plans and the Scottish government must now convene immediate multi-agency talks to establish the safest way forward.”
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