AUTOMATIC sprinklers are to be installed in high rise blocks in North Lanarkshire as part of a £10million plan to improve safety for tenants.

At present there is no legal requirement for sprinkler systems to be fitted but the council will consider a report next week proposing the installation in all of the 4,000 high-rise homes it manages.

Desk Murray, Assistant Chief Executive of the council said that while existing fire safety procedures were “robust,” minimising risks further was, an “absolute priority.”

High rise fire safety has come under closer scrutiny following the Grenfell tower blaze which claimed the lives of 71 people including a stillborn baby.

North Lanarkshire Council said it was working with Scottish Fire and Rescue, the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association and Scottish Water to identify the most appropriate system.

Des Murray, Assistant Chief Executive of North Lanarkshire Council explained: “Minimising risk is our 48 tower blocks is our absolute priority.

“We began our examination of towers in 2016 and have concluded that – while our fire safety arrangements are robust – the installation of sprinklers will further enhance safety and provide additional reassurance.”

The council agreed in December to consult residents on plans which could see all towers demolished over the next 20 years.

Mr Murray said: “These are part of ambitious plans to provide better homes for people, regenerate town centres and create jobs and are separate to our plans to increase fire safety in the short term.

“Given that some towers will remain over the next two decades it’s important that we consider the fire safety implications during that period.

“In line with guidance from Scottish Fire and Rescue, we have developed robust fire and safety procedures to help safeguard those living in our high rise accommodation.

“This includes our caretakers being fully fire warden trained, safety guidance issued to all residents and regular fire risk assessments carried out.”

A decision on the proposals will be made by councillors at a meeting of the Enterprise and Housing Committee on Thursday, February 15.