WOBO appreciates the receipt of updates relating to fire safety.
Reports of fires breaking out due to the increased use of Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are on the rise. Speaking at FIREX 2023 on Wednesday 17 May, Matt Humby, Senior Technical Sales Consultant at Firechief Global, outlined where the batteries are being used and how to mitigate the fire risk.
Those who design, plan, manage and undertake building work need to act now to stay on the right side of the law, according to the Operational Policy Development Lead of the Building Safety Programme.
Colin Blatchford reminded delegates at the High Rise Construction Fire Safety Conference – held alongside FIREX in London – that the Building Safety Regulator’s remit went far beyond higher risk buildings, and included keeping the safety of all buildings under review and to promote competence across the built environment.
“For those who think we are just about higher risk buildings, think again – we are about the whole built environment. It’s your duty to be aware of these changes.”
But turning to those higher risk buildings, he said that duty holders should be aware of the following:
- Registration of higher risk buildings under under part 4 of the Building Safety Act must be completed by 1 October 2023
- The Building Safety Regulator will begin assessing Building Assessment Certificate applications
- Duty holders should keep an eye on the Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No 4 and Jurisdictional Provisions) Regulations 2023
On the building control side of the equation, all building control professionals will need to be registered, so if duty holders are choosing a building control body, they must be registered.
£500k fine for Camden Council after failing to address fire defects which led to “unnecessary death”
Camden Council pleaded guilty to two fire safety offences and was sentenced at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to pay a fine of £500,000.
Following two risk assessments that took place in 2013 and 2017, both of which identified serious risks, Camden Council was found to have failed to address issues in one of its properties.
A blaze eventually took place in 2017, which led to the death of Magdalena Fink, who was trapped inside her flat after a fire which started in the basement “ripped through the communal staircase in just 15 minutes”.
Risk assessments had found serious concerns that included combustible wooden cladding on the internal staircase and a lack of proper fire doors on flat entrances.
There were also said to be a lack of adequate fire alarms and insufficient compartmentation measures that contributed to the blaze. Flat entrance doors were found to not be fire doors, which had large visible gaps and no self-closing devices.
Camden Council pleaded guilty to two fire safety offences. Emails containing resident concerns over the safety of the building were read out in court, with the Council citing the authority had a “very small team” of two fire safety officers covering the borough. Camden Council manages more than 30,000 homes in north London.
The £500,000 fine imposed on the council was a reduced figure as a result of its guilty plea and because of it being a public authority.