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Home Secretary Announces Ambitious Plans for Fire Reform

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Strong fire safety reforms across the UK strengthen fire and rescue services New regulations enact most of Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommendations into law New measures ensure people are safe at home and at work

The most comprehensive plan for fire reform in decades is presented today in the government’s Fire Reform White Paper. This white paper will help enhance emergency services and make people feel safer at home.

Today (May 18), the Home Secretary and the Minister of Building Safety and Fire visited the Old Kent Road Fire Station to announce the package that will be built on the changes since the Grenfell Tower fire and the results of an independent inspection report.

The changes announced include the Fire Safety Act 2021, which ensures that all apartment blocks are properly assessed for fire safety hazards, and the Fire Safety (UK) Regulation 2022, which helps people feel safe at home.

At the heart of the white paper is the plan to provide:

Improving Public Safety: Improving the professionalism of fire and rescue services through modern workforce practices and potentially establishing fire and rescue colleges. Enhanced Accountability: Oversees the delivery of operationally independent chief firefighters through a proposal to transfer fire management to a single elected individual. Better Engagement with the Public: After 10 weeks of consultation, the government listens to the public and stakeholders and finalizes the reform program.

Interior Minister Pretty Patel said:

Keeping the public safe is a government priority and the reforms we announced today will strengthen and support hard-working fire and rescue services.

The white paper is innovative in the way firefighters are trained and enables fire and rescue services to build on their strengths and leadership.

The Grenfell tragedy must never happen again and we are continuing the process of making the Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommendations into law.

Fire Minister Greenhalgh said:

I am pleased to introduce this comprehensive reform plan to improve our fire and rescue services and fire safety.

Reform is needed, according to the Grenfell Inquiry and independent prosecutors, and we are addressing the issue head-on with this white paper.

Fire professionals stand out to protect and serve their communities, and it is right to have the right tools to do their job effectively.

Recent years have seen a legacy of reforms to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and culture of fire and rescue services. For example, increasing focus and funding on fire prevention and helping services across the UK respond to the lessons emphasized by the Grenfell Tower tragedy. .

Building on this, the Interior Minister also announced the launch of the Fire Safety Act and the launch of the Fire Safety (UK) Regulation 2022. These legislative changes will set the stage for meeting many of the remaining Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommendations and will deliver on the fire. Improving the safety of multi-family residential buildings, including ensuring that fire and rescue services have the information they need to plan fire response in high-rise buildings and imposing minimum frequency of inspections for all fire doors on medium and high-rise blocks of rise in apartments.

The government also responded to individual emergency evacuation plan consultations and initiated new consultations on alternative proposal packages to support fire safety for residents who may have reduced self-evacuation capabilities.

This includes a new proposal to share emergency evacuation information with a designated person responsible for fire safety when constructing the most hazardous buildings to assess the needs of the most vulnerable occupants and consider actions that can reasonably be taken to mitigate the risk. . on fire safety.

Fire and rescue services will also be provided with up-to-date information on where these residents live within the building. It is used to inform operational strategies and to prioritize resources to further support and influence the evacuation of these residents.

National Fire Chiefs Council Chairman Mark Hardingham said:

The UK Fire and Rescue Service has much to be proud of and is highly respected by the public and the partner organizations we work with.

Every day, people across the UK gain confidence in the prevention, protection and response services provided by firefighters and staff.

This white paper provides additional opportunities to continuously improve our fire and rescue services based on the fantastic work we see every day.

NFCC plays an important role in advising and delivering future reforms and improvements. I will now carefully review the thesis and respond to the consultation.

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