New guidance is being draw up to improve fire safety in blocks of flats.

The Local Government Group has been commissioned to put together the specialist advice which will be used for social and private landlords, risk assessors, fire officers and others in the housing sector.

The new guidance will run alongside existing advice on housing fire safety published in 2008. As well as dealing with new-build, repair and refurbishment in flats, it will also tackle issues surrounding vandalism.

Cllr Gary Porter, Chairman of the Local Government Group's Environment and Housing Programme Board, said: "Clear and comprehensive fire safety guidance can mean the difference between life and death.

"The existing advice covers most types of property very well, but it was never meant for blocks of flats and it's become apparent some landlords are unsure of their legal responsibilities in such buildings. This was compounded by fire risk assessors being unclear about the level of investigation required when carrying out risk assessments.

"These extra guidelines should resolve these issues and help make sure everyone involved in the housing sector knows exactly what they have to do so residents are made as safe as possible."

The decision to compile new guidelines follows a Local Government Group summit last month attended by representatives from government, the Tenant Services Authority and social and private landlords. 


Posted: 0930am, 27.04.11,