Evacuation in HRRBs

Reference: 

954

Request detail: 

We are collecting information about what measures Fire and Rescue Services are taking to address the risk of serious compartmentation failure in high rise residential buildings (HRRBs) since the Grenfell Tower Fire of 14 June 2017.

Below is the information we would like to obtain from you under the Freedom of Information Act.

  1. Evacuation
  1. Any evacuation plans, policies or procedures for HRRBs;
  2. Any actual or proposed amendments to existing evacuation plans, policies or procedures for HRRBs, since 14 June 2017.
  3. Any national guidance (since 14 June 2017) on the obligations, under the FSO, of the responsible person of a HRRB to devise an evacuation plan for residents in the event of  fire;
  4. Any national guidance (since 14 June 2017), to assist your FRS to devise an evacuation plan for a HRRB involved in fire?

Please provide electronic copies of relevant documentation (previous/new policies and/or evidence of proposed changes)

  1. Pre-determined attendance (PDA)
  1. Your current PDA for fighting fires in HRRBs;
  2. Any actual or proposed amendments to your PDA for HRRBs, since 14 June 2017.

Please provide copies of relevant documentation (previous/new policies and/or evidence of proposed changes)

  1. Multiple FSGs
  1. Any operational policies/training for dealing with multiple fire survival guidance calls (FSGs)
  2. Any actual/proposed amendments to FSG policies/training, since 14 June 2017.

Please provide copies of relevant documentation (previous/new policies and/or evidence of proposed changes)

 

 

 

Response detail: 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

Please find below the responses to your questions

Below is the information we would like to obtain from you under the Freedom of Information Act.

Where the term HRRB (Higher Risk Residential Buildings) is used, the definition of ‘Residential Buildings 10 stories or more in height’ is applied as outlined in the report ‘Building a Safer Future’ by Dame Judith Hackitt. 

It should be noted that the national guidance listed below was published to be relevant to all relevant building types and owners. The provision of such advice by SFRS is made with due regard to local factors including but not limited to, geography, demographics, risk level, existing control measures and risk mitigation and existing interactions between the premises and SFRS.

 

  1. Evacuation
  1. Any evacuation plans, policies or procedures for HRRBs;

SFRS does not hold any evacuation plans, policies and procedures for specific HRRBs as a matter of course. In any event, such information is the property of the building occupier/owner and it would be prudent to contact them directly in order to gain it.   

  1. Any actual or proposed amendments to existing evacuation plans, policies or procedures for HRRBs, since 14 June 2017.

There is only one HRRB in Shropshire. This premises was under refurbishment on 14 June 2017 and has only become occupied in 2019. The evacuation plans, policies and procedures for this building takes into account the events of this date. 

  1. Any national guidance (since 14 June 2017) on the obligations, under the FSO, of the responsible person of a HRRB to devise an evacuation plan for residents in the event of  fire;

The obligations on the responsible person to devise suitable evacuation plans has not changed since the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The guidance outlined in the answer to the next question (d) is applicable for building owners and will provide the required knowledge, in conjunction with guidance that existed prior to 14 June 2017, for responsible persons and risk assessors to develop suitable evacuation plans.  

There may have been separate publications offered to such responsible persons where they are owned by housing associations or local authorities which have not been seen by the Fire and Rescue Service. It is advisable that contact be made with them to determine if this is the case and what advice has been given. 

Other known relevant documentation includes the list below – most referring to the need for responsible persons to undertake suitable measures such as risk assessment which forms the cornerstone obligation under the FSO: 

·         MHCLG Advice Note 12   https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/648775/Update_on_Interim_Mitigation_Measures_290917.pdf 

·         MHCLG Information Note 1   https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/666861/Information_note_for_landlords_and_building_owners_of_tall_residential_buildings_with_ACM_cladding.pdf 

·         Advice Note 20  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-for-owners-of-buildings-with-smoke-control-systems 

·         Advice Note 21 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/balconies-on-residential-buildings-advice-note 

  1. Any national guidance (since 14 June 2017), to assist your FRS to devise an evacuation plan for a HRRB involved in fire?

It is not for the FRS to devise evacuation plans for buildings. The responsibility for this lies with the Responsible Person as defined by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. As such, there is no specific guidance for that purpose. There is guidance on evacuation from buildings which are or may fall within the scope of HRRBs. These are freely available national documents such as: 

·         NFCC Stay Put Position Statement https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/Stay-Put-position 

·         NFCC Guidance to support a temporary change to a simultaneous evacuation strategy in purpose-built block of flats;  https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/write/MediaUploads/NFCC%20Guidance%20publications/Protection/01052018NFCC_simultaneous_Evacuation_guidance_final_doc.pdf 

·         Approved Document B Volume1 2019 Edition – Section 3   https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/832631/Approved_Document_B__fire_safety__volume_1_-_2019_edition.pdf 

Please provide electronic copies of relevant documentation (previous/new policies and/or evidence of proposed changes)

SFRS has an operational procedure for dealing with fires in high rise buildings and work is currently underway to embed National Operational Guidance (NOG) within the Service which will include a review of all operational policies and procedures to ensure we are adopting best practice within the sector. This policy contains information in relation to how we respond to incidents and therefore is being withheld under Section 38 (1) (endangerment to the health and safety of any individual) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The public interest is served by knowing that there are adequate processes in place, however SFRS believes that disclosing this information to the public at large would provide those with malicious intent to cause harm with key tactical information about how we respond to high rise incidents. As a result, this would impede our ability to respond to incidents at high rise buildings and endanger the health and safety of our firefighters and members of the public. Having considered the public interest test, SFRS’s decision is, therefore, to withhold the information.

 

  1. Pre-determined attendance (PDA)

a.                   Your current PDA for fighting fires in HRRBs;

4 x Pumps

1 x ALP

1 x L2

1 x L2 (safety)

1 x GM Command Support

 

b.                   Any actual or proposed amendments to your PDA for HRRBs, since 14 June 2017.

Reviewed  February 2019 – No Change

 

Please provide copies of relevant documentation (previous/new policies and/or evidence of proposed changes)  N/A

 

  1. Multiple FSGs

a.                   Any operational policies/training for dealing with multiple fire survival guidance calls (FSGs)

SFRS’s operational policies are under review with our Protection Department in respect to multiple fire survival guidance calls. Any changes will take into account any national guidance that is issued following the Grenfell Tower fire. Current FSG outlined in the Home Office training package which complements Fire Service Circular 10/1993 is utilised within Shropshire.

 

b.                   Any actual/proposed amendments to FSG policies/training, since 14 June 2017.

In Shropshire we have 4 high rise residential buildings above 6 floors. Our Protection department has worked with the properties to ensure that they have evacuation plans in place. The understanding of this building policy would be confirmed by Control staff at time of call and appropriate FSG given to the caller. This information would be passed to attending crews and Officers in the event of fire. No amendments have been made to FSG policies/training since June 2017 awaiting further national recommendations/guidance.

Please provide copies of relevant documentation (previous/new policies and/or evidence of proposed changes)  N/A

 

 

Information Released: 

Yes

Received: 

Wednesday, 9 October, 2019

Responded: 

Tuesday, 5 November, 2019

Topic: