The October issue of FIRE magazine delves behind the headlines to spark wider debate as FIRE correspondents comment on proposals for new sprinklers in high-rise blocks, timber framed building fires, the Government Spending Round and the new Fire Protection Board.
“The Home Office’s proposal to reduce the requirement for sprinklers from 30 metres to 18 metres on all new high-rise blocks of flats has been met with open arms by the fire sector (see pg 41), countered by the need to go further with the likes of London Fire Brigade representing calls for installation in all buildings housing vulnerable residents such as care home or sheltered accommodation.”
FIRE Editor Andrew Lynch welcomes the government proposal for sprinklers to be installed at more sensible heights in new high-rise blocks.
“Take the spate of timber framed building fires (see our special report on pg 13) that has rocked the collective conscious of fire safety campaigners, not least the Beechmore Care Home blaze in Crewe where 150 residents were evacuated. The decision to reverse the ‘stay put’ policy was critical. Even so and referring to previous FIRE investigations where owners were grossly underestimated egress of patients with mobility issue, this care home still took 50 minutes to evacuate. Just in the nick of time as the front of the property had started to collapse.”
FIRE Editor Andrew Lynch calls for immediate response to the spate of fires in timber framed buildings.
“I have made it clear to the Home Office and HMICFRS that a lack of forward-thinking investment impacts on how all fire services deliver prevention and protection work, carry out sustainable recruitment and also impacts on response. NFCC will continue this work, alongside others to influence government departments to try and ensure investment in fire and rescue is forthcoming, allowing services to allocate the right resources to the right places. This is particularly relevant in the area of fire protection post Grenfell and post the announcement of the Hackitt Review.”
NFCC Chair Roy Wilsher responds to the Government Spending Round and the work of the NFCC to push for more investment in fire and rescue.
“The Board includes NFCC, Home Office, LGA and MHCLG colleagues. There has been a commitment in the region of £10 million from MHCLG to support fire protection and the Board’s work. Part of this work is managing the understandable ambition for the Board emanating from Home Office and MHCLG.”
NFCC Chair Roy Wilsher announces the first Protection Board will take place shortly with the aim of supporting fire and rescue services and improving building safety.