Posted: 15.09.21 at 10:30 by Issy Millett
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has revealed there are currently 35 blocks of flats with fire safety failings in the borough of Wandsworth.
London’s Fire Commissioner last week called for urgent change in the building industry, as the number of blocks of unsafe flats in the capital came to exceed 1000, passing an “unacceptable milestone”.
According to the most recent data, 1,006 buildings in London have suspended the ‘stay put’ building design strategy, as it would be unsafe for residents to stay inside during a fire.
These buildings are instead subject to an interim so-called simultaneous evacuation strategy, such as a common alarm or a ‘waking watch,’ in which the building’s safety system is a person patrolling for signs of a fire.
Of the 35 blocks in Wandsworth, 31 are over 18 metres.
In London, 718 blocks are unsafe due to issues with cladding and the remainder have other fire safety defects.
Tower Hamlets (162) Southwark (82) and Hackney (78) were the three worst offenders. Richmond was the lowest, with no blocks recorded as unsafe.
London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe said: "We are extremely concerned that more than four years after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the number of buildings being identified with fire safety issues is increasing.
“The scale of issues being uncovered in buildings across the UK is worrying and there are much wider issues than just dangerous cladding.
“There is a far higher number of high-risk buildings in London than anywhere else in the country and it’s clear that there has not yet been a complete culture change when it comes to fire safety in residential buildings.”
Roe called on all building owners and managers to take urgent action to remediate their buildings if they are failing fire safety regulations.
He added: “It is completely unacceptable for residents to be burdened with the knowledge, and the fear that can bring, that their building may not be safe in the event of a fire.”
The Fire Brigade said they were unable to provide a list of the buildings currently under simultaneous evacuation, due to the potential risk of arson.