A growing number of MPs, as well as the leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, have been calling for new fire safety measures to be introduced. Pressure is growing on the Chancellor Philip Hammond to take the initiative in the budget and set aside £1 billion of funds to help protect residents in tower blocks from another tragedy similar to Grenfell. Corbyn, as well as several other MPs, have stated that all tower blocks should be retrofitted with sprinklers to ensure this kind of disaster doesn’t happen again.
The proposed fire safety measures will be the cornerstone of a national campaign which will call for those measures to be installed in every social housing block, beginning with those that are ten or more storeys high.
The campaign comes off the back of research carried out by the BBC. The research, which focused on 50% of the council and housing association-owned blocks within the UK, found that in spite of the disaster, only 2% have full sprinkler systems installed on the premises. Furthermore, 68% of those same tower blocks have a single staircase through which residents would be expected to evacuate in the case of a fire.
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For those opposing the measures, the statistics don’t make for pleasant reading. A study conducted by IFSEC global found that almost 4,000 tower blocks within the UK were without sprinklers. The same study found that sprinklers helped to reduce fire deaths by 87%.
These statistics, coupled with the fact that Government ministers have so far been reluctant to issue funding for the proposed fire safety measures, have seen the government come in for criticism. Just recently, Salford Council accused the government of ‘failing’ in its responsibility to improve social housing. Whether or not the national campaign and the growing pressure results in funding for the proposed fire safety measures remains to be seen, however. In the meantime, it will be down to individual associations and councils to look into ways they can make the tower blocks as safe as possible.
But it’s not just tower blocks that are at risk, with ClearView you can ensure your building is as safe as possible from the outbreak of a fire. We offer reliable and cost-effective fire safety solutions from equipment to maintenance and training so that your building is safe at all times. Book a survey to ensure all your security requirements are met.
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