Fire safety

Planning requirements on fire safety come into force

03/08/2021

New planning requirements on fire safety, known as planning gateway one, came into force this week.

Bill aimed at improving safety standards for high-rise buildings published

05/07/2021

A new Bill aimed at strengthening safety standards for the construction of high-rise buildings will be published today four years after the Grenfell Tower fire.

Boroughs call for ‘fit for purpose’ fire safety regime

15/06/2021

London boroughs marked the fourth anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire yesterday by calling on the Government to put in place a fire safety regime that is ‘fit for purpose’.

Council secures high court ruling to protect safety of residents

18/05/2021

Thurrock Council has been granted an interim injunction by the High Court to prevent residents from living in an unsafe property.

Queen’s Speech: New law to ‘modernise’ planning system

11/05/2021

The Government has pledged to push ahead with reforms to the planning system in order to meet house-building targets.

Government consults on new £2bn developer tax

30/04/2021

The Government has launched a consultation into a new residential developer tax to help towards the cost of removing unsafe cladding.

Grenfell council apologises over monitoring failings

31/03/2021

Kensington & Chelsea LBC has apologised for failings in its monitoring of the organisation that managed Grenfell Tower.

Fire chiefs renew calls to make sprinklers mandatory in schools

08/03/2021

Fire chiefs have renewed calls for mandatory sprinklers in schools as research estimates that 390,000 teaching hours could be lost to large fires this year.

Jenrick confirms £3.5bn plan to replace unsafe cladding

11/02/2021

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed that the Government will fully fund the cost of replacing unsafe cladding for all leaseholders in residential buildings six storeys and over in England.

Government launches £30m fire alarm fund

01/02/2021

Residents living in high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding can now get financial support from the Government to help them buy fire alarms.

All social high-rise buildings take action on dangerous cladding

22/01/2021

All social housing towers have had unsafe cladding removed - or have work underway - government figures have revealed.

New regulator established to ensure building materials are ‘fit for purpose’

20/01/2021

The Government has announced the establishment of a national regulator which aims to ensure materials used to build homes will be made safer.

Has Grenfell ground to a halt?

18/12/2020

Adam Jurka looks at why buildings with dangerous cladding should follow NFCC guidance and move over to safer and more permanent interim measures to protect residents from fire.

MPs call for more detail on Building Safety Bill

24/11/2020

MPs have urged the Government to provide more details on its new building safety proposals to prove they 'have teeth'.

Derbyshire councils commit to fitting sprinklers in schools

11/11/2020

Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council have both signed a Statement of Intent committing to fit sprinklers and the right fire safety measures in new and refurbished schools.

Two-thirds of school rated ‘poor’ for fire protection measures

05/11/2020

Two-thirds of schools have ‘poor’ fire protection with 40 schools a month hit by fire last year, a new study has revealed.

Councils warn millions of homes do not have a working smoke alarm

21/09/2020

Councils have launched an urgent fire safety drive after figures showed that more than two million homes in England do not have a working smoke alarm.

Committee condemns ‘pie-in-the-sky’ cladding promises

16/09/2020

Thousands of people are at risk because of ‘serious shortcomings’ in the Government’s long-term response to the Grenfell Tower fire.

Schools at double the risk of fire than other buildings, data shows

04/09/2020

School buildings are twice as likely to be in a blaze compared to other non-residential buildings, new research has found.

Drive to replace dangerous cladding ‘lagging behind’, warn auditors

19/06/2020

Auditors investigating the programme for replacing dangerous cladding on high-rise buildings have found that progress has ‘lagged behind’ expectations.

Three quarters of fire doors inspected ‘not fit for purpose’

18/06/2020

More than three quarters (76%) of the fire doors inspected in 2019 were condemned as not fit for purpose, new data reveals.

More than 50,000 living with dangerous cladding

15/06/2020

There are 56,000 people living in buildings with unsafe Grenfell-style cladding, new analysis has revealed.

Residents face ‘postcode lottery’ when it comes to fire services, union warns

15/06/2020

A third of fire and rescue services would not send sufficient resources to high-rise fires, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has warned.

Launch of £1bn building safety fund

27/05/2020

The Government has outlined the details of its £1bn building safety fund.

Building safety fund not 'enough' says task force

21/05/2020

The government fund to replace dangerous cladding is not enough to make all buildings safe, the Greater Manchester High Rise Task Force has warned.

More councils sign pledge to continue with building safety work

07/05/2020

The leaders of 25 councils have signed a pledge to continue with vital building safety improvements during the pandemic.

Cladding remediation work to pick up pace

23/04/2020

Vital building safety work to replace unsafe cladding on high-rise buildings that had ‘significantly slowed down’ as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will resume, it has been announced.

Government announces ‘biggest changes to building safety in a generation’

03/04/2020

The Government has announced steps to further reform building safety, including mandatory sprinkler systems and consistent wayfinding signage in all new high-rise blocks over 11 metres tall.

Council chiefs say new Fire Safety Bill ‘step in the right direction’

20/03/2020

Building owners and managers of high-rise and multi-occupied buildings are to be held to account for the safety of their residents thanks to new legislation.

Budget 2020: £1bn Building Safety Fund to remove unsafe cladding

11/03/2020

A new £1bn fund to remove unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings has been unveiled today by the chancellor.

Fire safe specification: The role of door closers

11/03/2020

Graham Hulland is calling on housing authorities and local councils to put tenant’s safety first and to look closely at what must be considered to correctly specify door closers.

High-rise residents warn worries over fire safety causing mental distress

24/02/2020

A survey of residents living in high-rise buildings in Manchester has found fire safety risks are damaging their mental health and wellbeing.

Manchester becomes 'early adopter' of Hackitt Review

20/01/2020

Manchester City Council has joined three other councils to become an ‘early adopter’ of the recommendations made in the Hackitt Review.

Preparing for new regulations

20/01/2020

Chris Proctor warns housing providers must enact change now to improve compliance and not wait for the regulators.

Welsh government bans combustible cladding

23/12/2019

Welsh government has banned the use of combustible cladding on high rise buildings following the Hackitt review into fire safety after the Grenfell tragedy.

Fire chiefs call for sprinklers in four-storey high buildings

03/12/2019

Fire chiefs have called for the lowering of the threshold for the use of sprinklers in high rise blocks of flats in the wake of the recent Bolton fire.

Councils voice concerns at smoke alarm failure rate

02/12/2019

Council leaders have warned that almost 40% of battery-powered smoke alarms failed to activate in residential fires last year.

London council sues contractors for £130m over ‘fire safety failings’

29/11/2019

Camden Council has launched legal action against a group of contractors over ‘multiple fire safety failings’ that led to the evacuation of the Chalcots Estate two years ago.

Fire services to investigate cause of Bolton student blaze

18/11/2019

An investigation is underway to establish the cause of last Friday’s student accommodation fire in Bolton and to find out whether the building’s cladding contributed to its rapid spread.

Grenfell inquiry: Better communication between councils and fire services needed

30/10/2019

‘Far better direct communication’ between local authorities and fire and rescue services is needed, an official inquiry has urged.

The safety of social housing

26/09/2019

Neil Merrick explores how councils are improving the safety of social housing two years after the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Two-thirds of English schools rated ‘poor’ for fire protection

18/09/2019

Over 60% of English schools are rated ‘poor’ for fire protection systems, with only one in 20 rated ‘excellent’, new research has revealed.

Review into sprinklers in high-rise homes

06/09/2019

The Government has announced plans to reduce the height of tower blocks where sprinklers must be installed.

Hackney to take developer to court

02/09/2019

A London borough is preparing to take legal action against a developer over fire safety fears in a block of flats.

Whitehall ‘too slow’ in reforming fire safety rules after Grenfell

18/07/2019

The Government has been ‘far too slow’ in reforming the building and fire safety regime in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy, MPs have said.

Oxford council to remove ‘dangerous’ cladding from tower block

12/07/2019

Oxford City Council has announced it will remove cladding from a residential tower block after it failed a fire safety test.

Majority of high-rise social housing without sprinklers decade after Lakanal House fire

03/07/2019

Around 95% of high-rise social housing blocks are still without sprinklers 10 years after the Lakanal House fire took the lives of six people.

Grenfell Tower: Hundreds of high-rise buildings still have 'unsafe' cladding

14/06/2019

There are still 'huge challenges ahead' two years after the Grenfell Tower fire, according to the leader of the council where the disaster took place.

Social housing tenants ‘failed’ by poor regulation

10/06/2019

Social housing tenants are being forced to report the same problem with their home multiple times, a housing charity has warned today.

Ministry considers launch of a new building safety regulator

07/06/2019

A consultation exercise has been launched on reforms of building regulations for high-rise residential blocks after the Grenfell Tower tragedy two years ago which killed 72 people.

Fire safety in high-rise buildings to be reformed in Wales

21/05/2019

The Welsh Government has announced it will reform the system regulating fire safety in high-rise buildings.

Firefighters blast Government for ‘complacency’ after the Grenfell fire

21/05/2019

The Government has done nothing to ‘adequately prepare’ fire and rescue services for another Grenfell-type fire, a firefighter union has warned.

Whitehall launches £200m fund to replace unsafe cladding

09/05/2019

The Government has launched a £200m fund to help remove and replace unsafe cladding on privately owned high-rise buildings after campaigners raise awareness of the issue.

Councils urge Government to fund sprinkler installations

27/03/2019

Local authorities have called on the Government to fund the installation of sprinklers in high-rise buildings two years after the Grenfell tragedy.

Councils calls for tougher regulations around sprinklers in high-rise buildings

12/03/2019

Local government leaders are calling for tougher rules governing the installation of sprinklers in high-rise buildings following last year's Grenfell tragedy.

Manchester residents will not have to pay to remove Grenfell-style cladding

04/03/2019

Apartment owners in Manchester will not be required to pay for replacing the dangerous cladding on their buildings, it has been confirmed.

Fire safety failures revealed in care homes

05/02/2019

Serious fire safety failures have been found in nearly 100 care homes across London, the capital’s fire brigade have said.

Grenfell cladding over 50 times more flammable than safer alternative

18/01/2019

The cladding used on Grenfell Tower was 55 times more flammable than the least combustible materials available, according to a new study.

Councils given power to remove unsafe cladding from private buildings

30/11/2018

Local authorities have been given the power to strip unsafe cladding from private residential buildings over 18 metres tall.

Twelve councils given funding to remove unsafe cladding

18/10/2018

The Government has released the first £248m of a fund to pay for the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding from high-rise tower blocks.

Council to retrofit tower block sprinkler systems

04/10/2018

Leicester City Council is to start retrofitting sprinkler systems to five council tower blocks next month following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Partial ban on flammable cladding ‘does not go far enough’, firefighters warn

02/10/2018

The Government has announced new measures to support homebuyers, get more homes built, improve building safety and create a 'Commonwealth Games legacy.'

Council puts tenants at risk by neglecting fire safety regulations

23/08/2018

Arun District Council put tenants at risk by failing to meet statutory health and safety requirements in relation to fire and water safety, regulator finds.

Government pledges action on unsafe fire doors

01/08/2018

Fire doors from five suppliers have failed to meet minimum safety standards, according to government inspectors.

Rethinking safety

31/07/2018

The publication of the Building a Safer report provides an opportunity for the construction industry to consider how we can best move forward across a diverse range of areas to ensure effective fire safety in the future.

MPs call for sprinklers to be fitted to all high-rise residential buildings

18/07/2018

The Government should provide funding to enable councils to fit sprinklers in all high-rise residential buildings to avoid another tragedy like the Grenfell Tower fire, MPs have argued today.

Belfast secures injunction over controversial Unionist bonfire

11/07/2018

Belfast City Council has successfully secured a court injunction to get the height of a controversial bonfire reduced.

Dangerous cladding found on 297 private tower blocks

29/06/2018

The Government has pledged to support council efforts to improve private building safety after figures show 297 private sector high-rise residential buildings have unsafe cladding.

Removal of combustible cladding has left some buildings at ‘serious fire risk’

28/06/2018

The removal of combustible cladding from tower blocks could be making buildings more dangerous, experts have warned MPs.

Councils double number of fire safety tenders in wake of Grenfell

19/06/2018

The number of councils tendering for fire safety work has shot up in the year since the Grenfell disaster, according to the latest figures.

Two Portsmouth tower blocks not ‘as strong as expected’

05/06/2018

The council have told residents in two Portsmouth tower blocks they will have to move out due to safety concerns.

Councils disappointed Hackitt review fails to ban combustible cladding

17/05/2018

Local councils will have extra responsibilities for monitoring the safety of higher-risk residential buildings (HRRBs), under sweeping, wholesale reforms to the regulatory landscape proposed by the final Hackitt report, published today.

Safety risk from faulty fire doors ‘low’, Government says

17/05/2018

A fire safety investigation in the wake of last year’s Grenfell tragedy has found the risk to public safety from faulty fire doors ‘remains low’.

Government commits £400m to remove dangerous cladding

17/05/2018

The replacement and removal of unsafe cladding by councils will be fully funded by the Government, at an estimated cost of £400m.

MPs call for ban of ‘desktop studies’ of cladding safety

01/05/2018

MPs have called on the Government to ban the use of desktop studies in the safety assessment of materials used in the cladding of high-rise buildings.

Council considers re-housing tenants due to ‘explosion’ risk

26/04/2018

Rugby council are considering providing some tenants with new homes due to concerns their tower block may be unsafe in the event of a ‘fire or explosion.’

Fire safety tests still ‘utterly’ inadequate post-Grenfell, study reveals

25/04/2018

New research carried out in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire has exposed the ‘utter inadequacy’ of the tests currently used to check the fire safety of building materials.

Whitehall to consult on banning fire performance ‘desktop studies’

12/04/2018

The Government yesterday launched a consultation into the use of ‘desktop studies’ to assess the fire performance of external cladding systems.

Time for action

02/03/2018

Adrian Pargeter explores the long-term steps local authorities should take to ensure tenants are no longer living in unsafe buildings.

Councils to share £1m to identify unsafe cladding on private bildings

01/03/2018

Local authorities are to share £1m to help then identify private high-rise buildings that may be clad in unsafe building materials.

Unsafe cladding removed from only 4% of affected social housing

28/02/2018

Only seven social housing buildings have fully replaced their unsafe cladding in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy, shocking new findings reveal.

Councils deplore Government guidance after Grenfell

21/02/2018

The Government’s guidance on fire safety after the Grenfell Tower fire has been ‘mediocre,’ ‘contradictory,’ ‘disjointed’ or non-existent, councils have said in response to a Labour survey.

Construction professionals support ban on combustible materials on high-rise buildings

21/02/2018

Almost three-quarters (74%) of construction industry professionals believe that using combustible materials on mid-, high-rise and sensitive buildings should be banned, according to a new survey.

Faulty white goods causing 60 house fires a week

15/02/2018

Faulty white goods are causing more than 60 house fires a week, a new investigation by Which? has revealed.

Local authority leaders welcome new consumer safety body

22/01/2018

Council chiefs have welcomed the launch of a new national oversight body focused on identifying faulty products and protecting consumers.

KPMG quits Grenfell inquiry amid accusations of a conflict of interest

08/01/2018

Accountancy firm KPMG has announced it is quitting its advisory role on the Grenfell inquiry after campaigners accuse it of a conflict of interest.

Council warns of ‘unprecedented’ fire safety funding gap

03/01/2018

Croydon Council has called on the Government to provide financial support to authorities struggling to pay for necessary tower block fire safety measures.

Human rights watchdog launches Grenfell fire inquiry

11/12/2017

The harm suffered by those who survived or witnessed the Grenfell Tower fire may constitute ‘inhumane and degrading treatment’, according to human rights watchdogs.

Petition calls on PM to ensure Grenfell inquiry is ‘representative’

01/12/2017

A petition has called on the Prime Minister to ensure the Grenfell inquiry is representative so that those affected can have ‘confidence’ in its findings.

One in four battery-powered smoke alarms fail to activate experts warn

13/11/2017

Almost 40% of battery-powered smoke alarms failed to activate in residential fires in England in the past year, safety experts have warned.

Councils urge fire services to be funded to risk

27/10/2017

Councils have urged the Government to protect fire service funding after new figures show the number of older people dying in a fire has risen by 22% over the last two years.

Fire chief calls for sprinklers to be mandatory in all schools

25/10/2017

Only four new or refurbished schools in London took the advice of the Fire Brigade and installed sprinklers last year, new figures have revealed.

Slough council to take over residential block due to fire risk

10/10/2017

Slough Borough Council is to take control of a privately owned residential block due to concerns about fire safety in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.

Addressing the ‘endemic’ fire safety problem

26/09/2017

Hannah Mansell calls for a total transformation of attitude towards fire safety, including the need for a national register of Responsible Persons.

Social landlords remain ‘silent’ on fire safety after Grenfell, survey reveals

25/09/2017

Social landlords have been accused of ‘staying silent’ on fire safety as survey reveals just 10% have been in touch with their tenants in person to discuss fire safety measures.

Lib Dems call for safety to be ‘at forefront' of building regulations after Grenfell

18/09/2017

Safety must be put at the forefront of new building regulations in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the Liberal Democrats have demanded.

Fire safety review terms of reference published

30/08/2017

The Government has today published the terms of reference for the independent review of building regulations and fire safety following the Grenfell disaster.

Council approves £25m borrowing for tower block fire safety measures

24/08/2017

Salford City Council yesterday confirmed it will borrow up to £25m to improve the fire safety of nine council-owned tower blocks.

Council set to spend £25m on improving safety of tower blocks

18/08/2017

Salford City Council is to decide next week if it should borrow up to £25m to improve the fire safety of nine council-owned tower blocks.

Ten fires caused by faulty white goods every day, figures reveal

15/08/2017

Around 10 fires are caused by faulty white goods, such as tumble driers and washing machines, every day, according to new figures.

The Brownfield Land Release Fund image

The Brownfield Land Release Fund

To what extent does this early initiative of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities deliver on the ‘levelling up’ agenda? Lawrence Turner reports.
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