How fire safety in council homes is being improved
05 April, 2019
Disability in Action’s Rose-Marie McDonald said members feared being trapped if a fire breaks out
• THE safety of all residents is Islington Council’s and the London Fire Brigade’s number one priority. This includes doing all we can to improve fire safety in council homes. We work closely together to ensure safety standards are met and robust plans are in place in the event of an emergency.
Fire-risk assessments are carried out in all buildings. Those that are six storeys or above receive an annual check (the legal requirement is every three years) and we recently held fire safety sessions for residents with hearing problems. The council is keen to do more training sessions in future to reach vulnerable residents with mobility or sensory conditions.
We understand the concerns some vulnerable residents have over fire safety, as discussed at the recent housing scrutiny committee, and we are committed to doing all we can to strengthen our emergency response plans, (Islington’s disabled tenants ‘scared for their lives’ over fire safety, March 29).
We hold information on vulnerable residents that can be shared in the event of a fire. However, we want to work with residents and stakeholder groups to ensure this information is accurate and kept up to date.
We already have a long-standing collaborative relationship that helps us to share information to ensure the most vulnerable residents are kept safe, but we are arranging a meeting with the Housing Disability Forum to discuss fire safety.
Alongside London Fire Brigade, the council is working on a range of improvements for tall buildings with complex layouts where accurate prior information could potentially save lives if a fire occurs.
We are rolling out the use of premises information boxes within some of the borough’s most complex buildings and will be working together to strengthen the current electronic information we hold on residents’ vulnerabilities, which can be shared in the event of an emergency.
If anyone has any concerns about fire safety in council homes, please do contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also want to request a free fire safety check from the fire brigade for your home. Visit www.london-fire.gov.uk/HomeFireSafetyVisit.asp or call 0800 028 44 26.
CLLR DIARMAID WARD
Executive member for housing, Islington Council
Islington Borough Commander, London Fire Brigade