Parliamentary Launch of Fire Safety Checklist
At a parliamentary event held by Tower Blocks UK and Kent University Law School on 17th June, our new Fire Safety Checklist was launched.
The checklist; a tool for high rise residents to identify and raise fire safety issues in their homes, was presented to politicians, academics, housing providers, residents and fire safety experts.
The event was hosted by Karen Buck MP, author of the new Homes (Fitness For Human Habitation) Bill, and chaired by former BBC Correspondent Professor Kurt Barling. Speakers included Professor Helen Carr from Kent University, Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad, MySociety Designer Zarino Zappia and Danielle Gregory, a resident evacuated from the Ledbury Estate tower blocks.
About the checklist
Following the Grenfell Tower Fire, the Hackitt Review into building regulations called for the voice of residents to be reasserted. We identified the need for accurate information for residents to be able to assess whether their blocks are fire safe or not, and act on that information. There have been too many instances where the occupiers of such buildings have not been heard when they have raised safety concerns with building owners and managers.
The checklist has been designed to help residents of tower blocks, or high rise residential buildings, to identify and highlight fire safety concerns by providing the detailed information needed to raise with landlords. It goes through relevant matters relating to physical condition and management in the common parts (including the exterior) and then looks at condition and management for individual flats.
The checklist is intended to provide a relatively straightforward approach to identifying those factors that can increase fire risk, focusing firstly, on things observable on the physical structure, and secondly on matters of building management. Management is a critical consideration even if construction and completion of any subsequent building works have been carried out to the highest standards. One aim of the checklist is to help residents assess whether the building is being properly managed.