Firefighters’ union expresses concern over Bibby Stockholm’s fire safety measures


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Fire Brigades Union calls for meeting with Home Secretary over Bibby Stockholm fire safety

The Fire Brigades Union has issued a formal letter to Home Secretary Suella Braverman, voicing their worries about fire safety provisions on asylum seeker accommodations, with specific focus on the Bibby Stockholm.

This vessel, currently anchored in Portland, Dorset, is expected to serve as housing for asylum seekers. Here is the full letter for those interested.

Firefighters anticipate potential hazards in Bibby Stockholm accommodation

In an unfortunate event of a fire onboard the Bibby Stockholm, it would be the firefighters responding.

The Union has highlighted its concerns regarding potentially limited entry and exit points, narrow corridors and doorways, and an increased number of residents.

The barge, initially designed to accommodate 222 individuals, is now anticipated to house over 500.

The Union has previously expressed its disapproval towards the government’s intention to exempt asylum seeker accommodation from the requirement of obtaining an HMO licence.

This licensing process enables Local Authorities to verify that sufficient safety measures and equipment are operational.

Assistant General Secretary Ben Selby stated: “The Fire Brigades Union represents the overwhelming majority of firefighters and emergency control staff across the UK, and it they who will be forced to deal with the consequences of any fire on board the Bibby Stockholm.

“As firefighters, we are driven by the need to prevent loss of life and protect public safety.”

Bibby Stockholm’s enhanced occupancy raises safety concerns

“Everyone has the right to live in safe and decent housing, no matter where they are from,” Selby continued. “The government has already scrapped vital fire safety measures for asylum seeker accommodation.

!Now, it wants to put more than 500 people onto an off-shore barge designed to hold around 200. This is a cruel and reckless approach to the welfare of asylum seekers, and puts the safety of firefighters at risk.”

The complete letter to the Home Secretary from the Union, reflecting these concerns, is available to view here.

IFSJ Comment

The issues raised by the Fire Brigades Union surrounding the Bibby Stockholm underline the importance of adhering to fire safety regulations, especially in accommodation housing a large number of people.

It highlights the critical role of fire safety measures in preventing possible tragedies and ensuring public safety.

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