Buildings: Fire Prevention

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of Emma Dent Coad Emma Dent Coad Labour, Kensington

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister of State for Housing of 6 June 2019, Official Report, column 331, if he will provide details of the work the Government is doing on stay put advice in fire safety policy.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Following the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) published comprehensive guidance for buildings, such as those with Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding, on what arrangements and interim measures should be established where “stay put” has been suspended. The NFCC carefully reviewed its guidance and reaffirmed the principle of “stay put” where it is appropriate. Its statement on this can be viewed at http://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/Stay-Put-position.

Building Regulation guidance, Approved Document B (Fire safety) has been clarified to make clear the principles which underpin guidance on the stay-put strategy adopted within blocks of flats. This is available on-line at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/814934/Approved_Document_B__fire_safety__volume_1_dwellinghouses_2019.pdf.

However, the Government recognises that questions have been raised about means of escape from blocks of flats and we have commenced a technical review of Building Regulation guidance through a call for evidence on 18 December 2018. This call for evidence identified topics which were candidates for inclusion in the review of Approved Document B (Fire Safety). One of the topics was means of escape in blocks of flats, including the stay-put approach. The call for evidence closed on 15 March 2019 and the Department is in the process of reviewing the evidence provided.

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