High Rise Flats: Safety Measures

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 8th October 2020.

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Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the updated guidance from the National Fire Chiefs Council on simultaneous evacuation strategies for high-rise flats; and what steps the Government is taking to communicate that guidance to people living in those buildings.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

We welcome the publication of the revised simultaneous evacuation guidance produced by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and published on their website. The revised guidance reflects best practice and emphasises that these are short term measures. The guidance encourages greater use of more cost-effective measures such as alarm systems to replace or reduce dependency on waking watch wherever possible. The NFCC has engaged with leaseholders during the drafting process to ensure the revised guidance reflects their views in as far as it was possible to do so. The Department regularly engages with leaseholders and others with an interest in building safety and will ensure that there is awareness of the revised guidance. In addition, the Department intends to publish data on Waking Watch costs shortly. The revised NFCC guidance will be communicated as part of that publication.

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