To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 31 May 2018 to Question 146735 on High Rise Flats: Fires, what steps he has taken to ensure that high-rise tower block owners comply with the relevant fire service guidance on the stay put policy.
In light of the Grenfell Tower fire, last year the National Fire Chief’s Council (NFCC) published guidance on simultaneous evacuation which included when to suspend the principle of ‘stay put’ in residential buildings over 18 metres which have been identified as having unsafe aluminium composite material cladding. The Government’s Expert Panel supports the NFCC’s revised guidance. The Expert Panel has also advised that interim measures be put in place to ensure the risk of fire is minimised while these buildings await remediation of their cladding systems. These include the provision of waking watch wardens and/or common alarm systems to ensure that all residents are alerted to fire and the need to evacuate.
Fire and rescue services have been checking these new arrangements in affected buildings to ensure appropriate measures are in place and that residents are kept safe.