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Lessons to be learned after Lakanal House fire safety prosecution

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Following the tragic fire at Lakanal House on 3 July, 2009 Southwark Council have been ordered to pay £570,000 after pleading guilty to four offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire) Safety Order.

The London Fire Brigade hopes lessons will be learnt by housing providers from this case. Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, Dan Daly commented: 

"Bringing this prosecution against Southwark Council has been about ensuring lessons are learned so we can reduce the likelihood of such a devastating fire ever happening again. All landlords, including large housing providers, such as councils and housing associations, have a clear responsibility under the law to ensure that their premises meet all fire safety requirements and are effectively maintained to provide protection in the event of a fire and keep their residents safe. 

We want them to take the opportunity provided by this court case to remind themselves of exactly what their fire safety responsibilities are under the law and to ensure that everyone in their premises is safe from the risk of fire."*

Following the fire, safety inspectors visited the building. The main concerns raised which formed the basis of the charges brought against the council included:

• Failure to make a fire assessment.
• Allowing breaches of fire resistant structure between each maisonette staircase and the common internal doors.
• Allowing fire loading and a lack of compartmentation in the false ceiling structure of internal corridors.
• Failure to provide fitted strips and smoke seals on fire doors including flat front doors.

Ensuring you comply with fire safety legislation

This case acts as a strong reminder why it is so important to ensure you are compliant with fire safety legislation. If you own or manage non-domestic premises you must take reasonable steps to reduce the likelihood of fire and make sure people can escape safely if a fire breaks out.

The Responsible person must ensure that all basic fire safety measures are in place and that all fire protection equipment in maintained in good working order. This helps to ensure the safety of individuals within the building and helps reduce the likelihood of fines and disruptions in the event of a fire.

How Metro Safety can help

If you would like to find out more about your fire safety responsibilities, why not contact our team of specialists who would be happy to help. Call us on 0845 058 9999 or send us an enquiry.

*Source - LFB