The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has called on the construction industry to start prioritising fire safety, otherwise there will be a rise in serious building fires as a result.
Fire safety experts from the LFB often come across serious flaws when doing inspections, including poorly designed fire safety systems like mechanical smoke ventilation, and a lack of understanding about fire safety measures on the part of those in control of buildings.
The organisation is now urging for a loophole to be closed that means some highly technical fire safety elements are able to be designed without involving a competent fire safety professional – like escape routes, for example.
In addition, it wants to see a stronger definition of who is responsible for what under fire safety legislation, an independent on-site inspection program to make sure fire safety elements of the design are carried through into the finished construction, and a clampdown on companies acting as building control bodies while offering fire engineering design advice without any distinct separation between the two roles.
“There are countless points where a dangerous decision can be made about a building’s design or upkeep and hardly any measures to ensure that the people making those decisions are sufficiently experienced and properly qualified. This means that potentially dangerous design flaws could exist within a building until we either find it at a later date, or in the worst case scenario, it is exposed by a serious fire,” Dan Daly, assistant commissioner for fire safety, said.
On September 22nd, 100 days after Grenfell, the LFB reminded landlords, building owners and residents about high rise fire safety responsibilities. This includes having up-to-date fire risk assessments to identify risks and hazards, and distributing fire safety guides for those who live in blocks of flats.
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