Fire safety

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.

Two Portsmouth tower blocks not ‘as strong as expected’


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


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


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


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


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


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


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’


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

Time for action


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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’


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Councils have Whitehall support ensuring safety of private high-rises, Javid says


Government will support councils in taking action against private building owners who do not ensure the safety of high-rise buildings from fire, Mr Javid says

90 council-owned buildings fail new fire safety test


Nearly 100 buildings owned or managed by councils and housing associations have failed the latest fire safety tests conducted in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Rising from the ashes


Who is behind the new Grenfell Taskforce, and what has it been set up to achieve? Sam Clayden reports.

Police consider corporate manslaughter charges for Grenfell fire


Grenfell survivors have welcomed announcement that corporate manslaughter charges against the council and tenant management organisation are being considered.

New taskforce to monitor Grenfell disaster recovery announced


The leader of Wiltshire County Council is among members of a new taskforce set up to monitor work following the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Javid accused of ‘misleading’ MPs about funds for tower block safety


Sajid Javid has been accused of misleading MPs when he said no councils had asked for extra cash to make their tower blocks safe following Grenfell disaster.

Appoint commissioners at tower blaze council, says opposition


The leader of Kensington & Chelsea RLBC's Labour group said he wants to see commissioners brought in, in the aftermath of the Grenfell tower fire that killed 80 people.

Schools to send cladding for ‘combustibility tests’ after Grenfell


The department for education has called on all schools, especially those with external cladding, to carry out building checks following the Grenfell fire.

Council chiefs welcome 'large scale' testing of cladding after Grenfell disaster


Local government leaders have welcomed new 'large scale' testing of cladding samples that failed safety tests in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Whitehall must not ‘weaken’ fire safety guidance for schools, unions say


Unions have called on the Government to confirm they would not ‘weaken’ fire safety guidance for building new schools.

How to keep your tenants safe: Listen to the fire safety professionals


Hannah Mansell warns there is an 'endemic' fire safety problem with tower blocks and outlines what action councils should be taking to improve the safety of tenants.

Councils ‘working quickly’ to test cladding after Grenfell tragedy, councillors insist


Council chiefs have defended the speed at which councils have sent cladding off for testing after the communities secretary raised concerns about delays.

Labour calls for ‘emergency funds’ for councils to install sprinklers


The Government should make available emergency funds for local authorities to check cladding and to install sprinklers in tower blocks, Labour says.

Lessons from the ashes of Grenfell


Claire Fox explores the lessons local authorities can learn from the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Grenfell Tower cladding not used by Scottish councils on high-rise blocks


Work to develop safety standards across private and social rented housing in Scotland is to be sped up in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Councils ordered to list buildings with cladding similar to Grenfell Tower


The Government has ordered urgent checks on social housing in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster to find out whether any external cladding is dangerous.

Victims of Grenfell Tower fire to receive £5,500 per household


Every household whose home was destroyed in the Grenfell Tower fire will receive £5,500 from an emergency fund, the Government today announced.

Safety review launched into hundreds of tower blocks


The Government has ordered an emergency review into tower blocks following the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in London.

Councils warned of an ‘endemic’ fire safety problem in tower blocks


Councils across the country have been urged to take immediate action to improve the safety of tower blocks in the wake of yesterday’s fire at Grenfell Tower.

Council accused of ignoring Grenfell Tower fire safety concerns


A fire has engulfed a west London tower block, resulting in a number of fatalities and seriously injuring around 50 people.

Council to pay £570,000 for fatal fire at Lakanal House


Southwark Council has been fined £570,000 over fire safety failings in a tower block that led to the death of six people, including three children.

Fire breaks out at council’s county hall


Six fire engines were called to the headquarters of East Sussex County Council this morning to tackle a fire that had broken out.

Scam mattresses ‘potential death traps’, councils warn


There has been an increase in complaints about cheap, ‘fireball’ mattresses being sold online or from the back of a van, councils say.

Councils demand urgent recall of faulty dryers


Faulty tumble dryers are responsible for thousands of fires every year risking the lives of millions of people, council leaders have warned.

Council bans release of sky lanterns and balloons


Worcester City Council has become the latest authority to ban the release of balloons and sky lanterns from its building and land.

Home secretary’s plans to hand control of fire services to PCCs 'stupid and dangerous', says fire chiefs


The home secretary’s plans to bring fire and rescue services under the control of police and crime commissioners (PCC) are 'stupid and dangerous', the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) warns.

Cheap hoverboards could lead to Christmas tragedy


Dangerous and cheap hoverboards could lead to a Christmas tragedy, fire chiefs warn.

Fire service shouldn’t be ‘messed around with’, LGA warns


Fire chiefs reject plans to transfer control of firefighters to the Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), according to the Local Government Association (LGA).

Fire and rescue cuts could put people at risk warns watchdog


Further funding reductions to fire and rescue services could put public safety at risk and led to cuts in the number of fire fighters, new research has revealed.

Councillors urged to turn up heat on fire safety


Fire safety complacency can be extinguished with the help of councillors, the London Fire Brigade has said.

Fire deaths fall by 5% in past year


The number of fire deaths in England has fallen by 5% in the past year, according to official figures releases by the Office for National Statistics.

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