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02 August 2019
London Fire Brigade (LFB) have released an official response to the government's consultation on a new building safety regulatory system, warning that it needs to be 'designed to prevent tragedies rather than reacting to them.'
According to LFB, while the proposals from the government, which were made in response to Dame Judith Hackett's review, are a 'good start,' much more detail is needed.
They want the government to 'focus on the built environment and not solely on tower blocks, calling for a new regulatory system to apply to all buildings.'
"The new system should also apply to both new buildings and existing buildings, however, there would need to be a phased and logical approach to current buildings," LFB said.
"If buildings are not designed, built and maintained in a safe way, fire and rescue services will not be able to predict how a fire would develop or what impacts it would have and there is a very real risk of another tragedy where there is a large loss of life."
The Brigade warns that, as it stands, residents are potentially being put at risk because there is no Building Safety Regulator and there is a culture of doing the minimum to meet requirements, which 'needs to stop.'
LFB also submitted a separate consultation response to the Home Office’s call for evidence in relation to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
"The way in which safety features are designed and installed needs to be documented so those responsible for buildings have a full understanding and for residents to have more access to information about where they live," they said.
Among the key areas LFB has been calling for review is for Automatic Fire Suppression Systems (AFSS) such as sprinklers to be mandatory in a range of buildings, particularly in all buildings housing vulnerable people and in schools.