Fire safety | LocalGov

‘Bleak’ future for social housing without investment


Without extra funding, the future of England's social housing looks ‘bleak’, council bosses have warned.

2,000 social housing blocks affected by ‘life-critical’ problems


Almost 2,000 social housing blocks in England have ‘life-critical’ problems with their external cladding, according to official data.

Cladding issue could be 'tip of iceberg'


Barnet LBC has warned fire safety issues with nearly 600 low-rise homes could be ‘just the tip of the iceberg across the country’.

Government ‘criminally complacent’ over cladding risk


Firefighters have accused the Government of being ‘criminally complacent’ after a cladding fire in Wembley.

Mid Devon Housing: Improving fire safety in communal areas


Mid Devon Housing is increasing resident safety by deploying connected alarm systems within communal areas, utilising Aico’s HomeLINK Connected Home Solution.

Advanced’s EvacGo Evacuation Alert System Helps Keep Residents Safe


Fire protection solutions manufacturer Advanced has supplied its EvacGo evacuation alert system to three social housing tower blocks in Halewood, Merseyside.

Newham wins landmark cladding removal case


Newham LBC has become the first council in Britain to successfully prosecute a building owner for failing to remove flammable cladding.

Number of vapes discarded each week soars to five million


Five million single-use vapes are thrown away in the UK every week, an almost four-fold increase on last year, according to research from Material Focus.

Taking fire door inspections to the next level


Nicola John, Fire Door Maintenance (FDM), and Andrew Tyas, Contactless Check Solutions (CCS) explain the growing need for more thorough fire door inspections.

Gove takes ‘personal interest’ in council landlords


Seven councils are among the landlords to have received letters from housing secretary Michael Gove after falling foul of watchdogs.

Crooked House pub demolition must be ‘catalyst’ for reform


The Crooked House pub demolition should lead to planning reforms to make it easier to stop ‘unscrupulous owners’ from redeveloping pubs, campaigners say.

Police treating Crooked House pub fire as arson


The police are now treating the fire at the historic Crooked House pub – ‘Britain's wonkiest pub’ – as arson.

Investigation launched into demolition of ‘Britain's wonkiest pub’


An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the demolition of the historic Crooked House pub has been launched, the local authority has said.

Firefighters warn Braverman over asylum barge safety


The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has written to Suella Braverman about fire safety concerns in accommodation for asylum seekers, including the Bibby Stockholm.

Camden Council breaches standards over fire safety


The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has found that thousands of Camden Council-run homes do not comply with fire safety regulation.

Regulator criticises council for health and safety failures


Adur District Council failed to meet a range of health and safety requirements in tenants’ homes, the the social housing watchdog has ruled.

Final Grenfell inquiry report expected next year


The final report from the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire is unlikely to be published until next year, according to the inquiry team.

Three cladding firms warned of 'consequences’ for safety failures


Michael Gove has warned the shareholders of three cladding firms of ‘severe consequences’ if they fail to put forward plans to help fix unsafe buildings.

Gove delivers ultimatum to 11 housebuilders


Housing secretary Michael Gove has named 11 firms who have failed to sign a contract to repair homes with safety risks exposed by the Grenfell Tower fire.

Evacuation alert system from Advanced helps protect residents in Merseyside social housing


Fire protection solutions manufacturer, Advanced, has supplied its EvacGo evacuation alert system to two high-rise residential tower blocks in Merseyside.

Council chiefs issue cost-of-living crisis fire warning


Local authority leaders yesterday reminded residents to be careful when using candles for lighting or heating this Christmas.

Checking and inspecting lifts


Nick Mellor, MD of LEIA and LIFTEX 2022, looks at how to ensure your lifts are compliant with the recently published Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022.

Council ‘liable’ for deaths of five Grenfell residents


The local authority that owned Grenfell Tower has been found liable for the deaths of five residents who died in the 2017 fire.

Over £4bn Building Safety Fund reopened


The Government has today reopened the Building Safety Fund to help protect leaseholders in high-rise homes from being stuck with unfair safety bills.

London councils mark Grenfell fire anniversary with call for fire safety support


Too many buildings across London are still waiting for unsafe cladding to be removed or for other fire safety works to be carried out, council leaders say.

Home Office rejects Grenfell inquiry safety recommendation


Government has rejected a recommendation that would require owners of high-rise buildings to prepare emergency evacuation plans for disabled residents.

Grenfell council admits leadership was 'unable to cope'


Kensington & Chelsea LBC has admitted to the Grenfell Tower inquiry its ‘leadership was unable to cope’ in the days after the tragedy.

Developers given deadline to fix cladding crisis


Developers have been warned they could face legal action or future restrictions on funding and procurement if they fail to remove unsafe cladding.

Council breaches Home Standard after missing safety inspections


Norwich City Council failed to carry out inspections relating to fire, electrical, asbestos and water safety, causing the potential for 'serious detriment to tenants'.

Budget 2021: £24bn multi-year housing settlement


The chancellor has today announced £11.5bn to build up to 180,000 new affordable homes, calling it the largest cash injection in more than a decade.

Planning requirements on fire safety come into force


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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’


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?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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’


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


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


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


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

Building safety fund not 'enough' says task force


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


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


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’


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’


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


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


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


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


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


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

Welsh government bans combustible cladding


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


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


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’


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


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


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

The safety of social housing


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


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


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

Hackney to take developer to court


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Rethinking safety


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


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


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


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’


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


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

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