County Council faces prosecution for breaching fire safety regulations following the deaths of six people!
Southwark Council is currently facing prosecution for breaching fire safety regulations following the deaths of six people in the Lakanal House fire in 2009.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) has brought a prosecution against the Council under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 after the fire in Lakanal House, which resulted in the deaths of three women and three children. The fire was started by an electrical fault with a television.
The fire brigade has brought 22 charges against the council relating to fire safety matters in the tower block. Allegations include:
- No fire risk assessment for the premises.
- Ceilings were in a poor state of repair and were not constructed in a way or made of materials that would stop a fire from spreading.
- Parts of the construction of the building failed to adequately provide barriers to smoke and fire, and strips and seals were not fitted to fire escape doors or the doors to flats.
The case is on going.
What happens if I don’t have a fire risk assessment?
You have a legal responsibility to make sure your business and employees are protected from the dangers of fire.
In cases where a risk exists and it is not being managed, fire authorities have a statutory duty to enforce compliance with the regulations and they may serve a notice on you. In serious cases e.g. Lakanal House case example above, prosecutions and fines can be imposed and a worst-case scenario is imprisonment.
Do I need a fire risk assessment?
Are you the ‘Responsible Person’? If you are an owner, landlord or occupier of a business or other non-domestic premises, you’ll be responsible for fire safety. You’re known as the ‘Responsible Person’. The ‘Responsible Person’ may be prosecuted if they fail to comply with the law. As the ‘Responsible Person’ you have a legal responsibility to have a fire risk assessment in place. The assessment needs to be completed by a ‘Competent Person’.
How often do I need a fire risk assessment?
Whether you have an existing fire risk assessment in place or not, it is essential that you keep the assessment under review and revise it when necessary.
All our fire risk assessments are carried out in accordance with the requirements of PAS 79 through our NEBOSH trained/IFPO registered personnel. Fire Safety Services has also been awarded with BAFE SP205 Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment.
Fire Safety Services are one of a limited number of companies in the UK (approx. 44 as at January 2017) to have achieved this certification, which shows our continued commitment in providing ‘quality in compliance’ services to our customers.
For more information on Fire Risk Assessment, click here.
What is the purpose of Passive Fire Protection?
The purpose of passive fire protection is to contain the spread of fire for sufficient time to permit the safe evacuation of all occupants of the premises and the arrival of the fire brigade.
Passive fire protection provision is required in all buildings, whether domestic or non-domestic, with the purpose of containing / compartmentalising / retarding the spread of fire. The allegations outlined in the Lakanal House case example, shows a lack of compliance with Passive fire protection requirements throughout the building to contain the spread of fire.
For more information on passive fire protection and building compartmentation – click here.
If you would like to discuss any of your fire protection requirements, please call us on 08000 234114 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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