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Press Release - Update regarding Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service's actions following Grenfell Tower fire, London
Posted on 15/06/2017

Fire safety legislation, (Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005), applies to a wide range of building occupancies; this includes the common areas of high rise residential premises.

The responsibility for ensuring that the requirements of the above legislation are met lies with the building owners.

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service (DSFRS) has a duty to enforce the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

DSFRS have a robust, intelligence led, risk based, fire safety inspection strategy to ensure that a suitable level of compliance is achieved in all buildings (where the legislation applies), especially where the risk of loss of life is highest.

There is no reason to consider that this existing strategy is not suitable.

In light of the fire at Grenfell Tower, in London, fire safety risk information held by DSFRS, has been reviewed for all known high rise premises in Devon and Somerset. Following this review, a bespoke risk based inspection programme has commenced, with a view to confirming the current status of the building, and to give assurance to residents with regards to the appropriate fire procedures for their building.

This activity is being completed in liaison with building owners and local authorities.

DSFRS operational crews prepare for fires occurring in high rise buildings, by continually familiarising themselves with operational procedures and they train regularly on how to deal with fires in a high rise buildings.

Information held by DSFRS is gathered and made accessible to operational crews at any time, by means of mobile data terminals.

Twenty-eight high rise exercises have been carried out over the last 12 months with two major multi-agency exercises carried out in Plymouth. The most recent exercise involved over 100 firefighters, comprising 17 fire crews, from all over Devon and Somerset. This was carried out at the 14 storey former Civic Centre building in Plymouth.

Each one of these training events is designed to familiarise crews with the layout of the building, and associated risks, the construction, fire safety features and the operational procedure to implement in the event of a fire.

Learning from the exercises is incorporated in planning for real events and communicated to the building managers and occupants where necessary.

For advice on fire safety provision and emergency procedures for residential buildings please refer to our earlier press release.

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