Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has teamed up with all four Cheshire Unitary Authorities to form a group to enforce fire safety provisions within housing.
The group will deliver improved fire safety in properties defined as 'houses in multiple occupancy' (HMOs). HMOs include houses or flats converted into bedsits or flats, single room let properties with three or more tenants, sheltered housing, hostels, hotels, bed and breakfasts and so on.
The Fire and Rescue Service has specific areas of responsibility. Sheltered housing, mixed commercial and residential accommodation, hostels, B&Bs and hotels along with all multiple-occupied accommodation that is regulated by the Local Housing Authority, all fall within their remit. Additionally, specific officers within the service have been delegated to allow them to gather information relating to fire safety and to be consulted regarding plans for premises of three storeys plus and advising on emergency measures for fire hazards.
The partnership will have a beneficial effect on the standards and consistencies of safety in the applicable housing stock whilst enabling the service to improve planning efficiency and effectiveness. The service's Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) 2011/12 recognises that some of the very highest risks to life from fire are included within this sector, affirming the need for a proactive and supporting role within the LHA.
Speaking after official confirmation of the partnership, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin told FIRE: "We're pleased to be working so closely with all of the Unitary Authorities across Cheshire in this manner. We've identified a definite need for partnership working to ensure the safety of residents in multiple occupancy properties. The introduction of this initiative means we can move forward to reduce the risk to life and maximise community safety."
Posted: 09.32am, 06.04.11