DOZENS more damning fire safety reports have been leaked to the Post revealing hundreds of faults in schools and public buildings.

The assessments carried out in recent months show alarms and detectors dangling from walls, exposed wiring, and incomplete evacuation notices.

Councillors unanimously passed an emergency motion on Monday, alarmed by reports of 812 “failures” across 33 West Dunbartonshire public buildings. They called for assurances on the safety issues within days before schools return next week.

A whistleblower first approached the Post last month with concerns that the surveys have been buried within West Dunbartonshire Council, hidden from councillors and even head teachers of the schools.

In-depth reports were prepared into 33 West Dunbartonshire buildings, most of them schools but also community centres and libraries.

Faults that don’t meet standards include front doors having magnetic locks installed which “do not release on a fire alarm activation”, lack of detection in staff and pupil toilets or in some boiler houses or electrical cupboards.

Some of the standards have to do with how wiring is clipped together or contained in PVC casing.

In total, there are 406 faults in 17 Clydebank buildings.

As reported last week, Edinbarnet Primary is the worst in the area, with 51 issues.

St Joseph’s Primary came second with 42 faults and the report stated there were “numerous non compliance issues that are required to be rectified and will take a considerable amount of time to bring this system up to an acceptable standard”.

The report into Dalmuir Community Centre found no fire detection or alarms in the boiler house under the building, “which should be addressed urgently”.

Council bosses insist buildings are safe and the reports were part of a “procurement exercise”.

But their exposure by the Post have prompted urgent questions by councillors, MSPs and Clydebank’s MP.

Council leader Jonathan McColl said: “Council officers have been absolutely clear with me that our schools are safe and I want to give that reassurance to parents and staff.

“Internal audit are investigating the whistleblowing report and I will be discussing this further with senior officers this week with a view to providing more assurance. Children’s safety is my primary concern and the council is focussed on providing that reassurance.”

Clydebank Post: Gavinburn Primary

A council spokesman added: “All council buildings, including schools, are subject to regular fire and electrical inspections, and all fire systems routinely maintained. All of our properties comply with the Fire Scotland Act 2005 and are regularly audited by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), which is the enforcing authority for fire safety in Scotland.

“The reports referred to were compiled by an external alarm and fire system maintenance firm as part of a procurement exercise for fire system installations and maintenance in the future.”

Audit committee chairman Councillor John Mooney said: “It was my understanding from the discussion of this matter at the audit committee recently, that the concerns did not relate to safety.

“However, the fire alarm reports from last year do raise safety concerns.

“I trust that our officers have already or are currently addressing these concerns. Safety is our paramount concern, and I will be scrutinising this matter intently.”

MP Martin Docherty-Hughes said he would be meeting with chief executive Joyce White this week over the reports.

He said: “Fire safety in schools and public buildings must be a priority and I commend the whistleblower for bringing these concerns forward.

“I will be seeking assurances that fire alarm systems in all council buildings, including schools, are being properly maintained in accordance with legislation.

“I expect the council to work with the fire service and head teachers to ensure that fire safety measures meet the highest possible standards.”

Clydebank MSP Gil Paterson added: “The safety of our children is of paramount importance so I have been in touch with Jonathan McColl and he assures me that, as it should be, children’s safety is his primary concern in this matter. Senior council officers have been very clear that our schools are safe and there is no cause for concern.”

Labour group leader Councillor Martin Rooney told the Post he had requested briefings on the matter as a “matter of urgency”.

He said: “This is a very serious matter that should concern us all. However, it’s vital that we get all the facts and take necessary action to protect pupils, staff and the public from harm.

“Workplace inspections and fire safety inspections are statutory requirements to ensure that public buildings are safe. This involves proactive inspections and appropriate action plans to ensure that health and safety risks are removed or minimised and that appropriate safeguards are put in place to minimise the risk of injury.

“Given that some of the inspection reports date back to 2017 it would be my expectation that remedial action will have been taken and if not then I will be seeking an explanation why.”

Clydebank Post: St Stephen's Primary

Assistant Chief Officer David McGown, SFRS’s director of prevention and protection, said: “The SFRS carries out a comprehensive programme of fire safety audits to monitor and improve legislative compliance and to reduce the risk within non-domestic premises across Scotland.

“While local authorities and duty holders have responsibility for the provision of fire safety measures in their premises, specialist SFRS officers work in partnership with local authority staff to provide appropriate support to this process.

“The SFRS exists to save lives and our firefighters, and fire safety officers, are available to support communities wherever possible.”

Our whistleblower, speaking after the first reports were published by the Post last week, said the rest of the council’s building portfolio should have similar in-depth reports and staff were glad the issue was in the open.

They said: “That’s just the ones with the in depth surveys, What’s the rest of the portfolio like?

"Some members of staff were unaware of these reports and are thankful that there have been brought to light. Other staff members that were aware of these feel the pressure is off and want these issues dealt with in an open and quick manner.”

Summaries of each of the reports across Clydebank are available in the print edition of this week's Post.