BBC endorsement for fire safety message

This morning, 22nd February 2013, our Managing Director, Brian Gregory, was interviewed on BBC Radio Northampton on the subject of fire risk assessment, specifically looking at the problems that have given rise to the high number of 'unsatisfactory' outcomes to local fire safety audits.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that, of 1,078 fire safety audits of non-domestic premises carried out by Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue in the 12 months to March 2012, 539 were found to be “unsatisfactory”. The fire service also served 39 enforcement notices and 19 prohibition notices during the same period.

Baz Fox, community protection manager for Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service, said the vast majority of the unsatisfactory audits were in so-called Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs), rented by more than two people and therefore designated as a business.

Mr Fox said the main reason for the failed inspections was due to the properties, which were often rented by some of the most vulnerable members of society such as students, low income families and immigrants, not having a fire alarm system or fire doors installed.

He said: “Quite a lot of the owners of these HMOs know what they have to do but are quite reluctant to install fire alarm systems and fire doors because of the cost.

“We are now trying to prosecute as many of these people as we can for non-compliance as a lot of them are making fortunes on these properties and there is no excuse for not complying with the fire safety regulations.”

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