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Fire brigade warns councillors to keep housing estates safe

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Fire brigade warns councillors to keep housing estates safe

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Health

Fire brigade warns councillors to keep housing estates safe Fire brigade warns councillors to keep housing estates safe

London Fire Brigade is calling on councillors from the capital’s local authorities to make sure they are using their scrutiny powers to keep the city's housing estates safe from fire.

The brigade has published two separate councillor guides on fire safety, which have been made available to all elected members of London’s local authorities.

The first, for use during council meetings, outlines strategic and policy questions to ask about the fire safety of purpose-built blocks of flats and maisonettes, while the second focuses on what councillors should look out for during estate visits, and questions they should to put to managers and wardens.

Research commissioned by the brigade showed 60% of all high rise residents – around 760,000 households - don’t have a fire escape plan, and 50% said they would get out of their flat even if the fire was somewhere else in the block, which can be the most dangerous thing to do when a fire is not affecting your home.

To tackle the confusion head on, the Brigade has launched a new campaign and website - www.knowtheplan.co.uk - to help ensure landlords and housing providers act on their fire safety responsibilities and people living flats and maisonettes in purpose built blocks have a clear understanding of what to do in a fire.

London Fire Brigade’s deputy commissioner, Rita Dexter, said: “It’s important that councillors don’t make assumptions that fire safety is being actively or effectively managed in purpose built blocks of flats and maisonettes in their boroughs, whoever is responsible for that housing.

“By scrutinising how responsibilities for fire safety are met in their area and ensuring that the fire safety in their borough is continuously monitored and improved, elected members not only help get our fire safety messages out into the community, they can help prevent complacency when it comes to managing fire safety issues in the capital’s purpose built managed buildings.”

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