Agenda item

FIRE SAFETY BRIEFING

To consider the Fire Safety Briefing presentation.

Minutes:

4.1 The Chair invited Richard Humphrey, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) Protection Manager, to give a presentation on current Fire Safety Legislation. The following key points were highlighted:

  • The GFRS Protection Department was created to ensure compliance with Fire Safety Legislation. It was stated that they also were in charge of enforcing and educating the county on Fire Safety Legislation. Currently the team was made up of three Managers, eight Inspectors, a Data Analyst, an Administrator, and the Operational Risk Team.
  • The Officer gave an insight into all the current Fire Safety Legislation which included The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, Fire Safety Act 2021, Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, Building Safety Act 2022 (Building Safety Regulator), The Higher Risk Buildings (England) Regulation 2023, Grenfell Tower Inquiry future phases.
  • It was stated that in Gloucestershire, there were ten High-Rise Residential Buildings (HRRB) – two in Stroud, three in Cheltenham and five in Gloucester. It was confirmed that whilst each of these were inspected on a regular basis, GFRS had no major concerns. 

 

Questions

4.2 A Member asked about whether GFRS were required to undertake fire safety tests with businesses, the Officer confirmed that it was the responsibility of the business to make sure that they were up to date with their fire safety training. However, he confirmed that the service did speak to businesses about their training.

4.3 Responding to a Member’s question, the Officer stated that they had a set program to inspect the High-Rise Residential Buildings in Gloucestershire. He confirmed that all ten buildings had been inspected this year and due to there being no major concerns, it was stated that they would not be visited again until the third year of the program. It was stated that the Government Building Safety Regulator would be taking over the inspection of High-Rise Residential Buildings from next year. 

4.4 A Member asked about how many building prohibition notices had been issued by GFRS in the last twelve months, the Officer confirmed that three prohibition notices had been issued and six enforcement notices.

4.5 A Member raised concern about the lack of Government legislation for the enforcement of sprinkler systems in multi-storey carparking. It was confirmed that the Government do not enforce that all new buildings are required to install a sprinkler system. Therefore, GFRS could only promote the use of sprinklers rather than enforce it. However, it was stated that in some cases, sprinklers systems were not the most effective for example with electric vehicles.

4.6 Answering a question about GFRS building prohibition enforcement, it was confirmed that the last prosecution in Gloucestershire was in 2016. It was stated that nationally the prosecution figure was low largely due to the range of escalations that could be used. It was confirmed that businesses often work with GFRS to change their practices rather than being prosecuted.

4.7 A Member asked about whether all shops’ fire safety measures were inspected, the Officer stated that GFRS did conduct site visits to all shops and stated that they could visit at any time within the business’ working hours.

 

Supporting documents: