The primary purpose of Building Standards is to ensure public safety. This is clearly demonstrated in the Building Standards section's frequent involvement in the removal of dangerous buildings. Buildings become dangerous for various reasons. The most common are: building neglect coupled with the extreme age of structures, ground subsidence, storm damage, fire damage and vandalism.
Where it appears to the Comhairle that any building is dangerous to the extent that the safety of the public is at risk, powers exist under the Building ( Scotland) Act 2003, which enables the Comhairle to require immediate evacuation and require, or itself take, action to either have the building made safe or have it demolished. In the case of immediate danger, if the Comhairle is obliged to take action to safeguard the public interest, all the costs incurred by, or on behalf of the Comhairle are subsequently invoiced to the owners and are recovered as a debt.