Eight London borough councils have admitted to not regularly carrying out a fire risk assessments in 342 tower blocks. Some tower blocks had not been checked for over three years. The revelations have come to light following the prosecution of Southwark Council. They faced charges for fire safety failings preceding the Lakanal House Fire in 2009, which killed six people.
The boroughs admitting to fire safety failings are Croydon, Greenwich, Havering, Newham, Southwark, Islington and Redbridge. Havering Council even admitted that none of its 14 tower blocks had been checked for over two years. Also, one tower block in Newham had not been checked for three years. However, a spokesperson for Havering Council said: “We are in the process of starting our risk assessment plan for 2017 – this should start by June.”
It is recommended that businesses should aim to review fire risk assessments annually. Fire safety expert Hannah Mansell said: ‘It’s very worrying. The fire risk assessment is an ongoing live document, and it has to be reviewed regularly to identify new or heightened risks in a building. If an assessment is not carried out on a regular basis on a high-risk building, how does anyone really know if they are playing with fire and the lives of those in their care?”
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