London Mayor consults residents on guidance to improve fire safety

fire safety

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan is spearheading important fire safety improvements
in the capital. The London Mayor has launched a full public consultation
on innovative draft guidance to ensure all new developments are designed with
the highest standards of fire safety from the earliest stage, keeping
Londoners, their property, and the fire service safe.

Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, in which 72 Londoners tragically lost
their lives, Dame Judith Hackitt’s Review highlighted the need to transform the
fire and building safety regime. Dame Judith recommended that ‘some minimum
requirements around fire safety will need to be addressed when local planning
authorities are determining planning applications and will require input from
those with the relevant expertise’.

Khan has a strategic planning role for the city and his ‘London Plan’ sets
out guidance for development and building across the city.

He has also reiterated that the fire safety requirements in existing
national Building Regulations are not fit for purpose and the progress of
reform is too slow. With this draft Fire Safety London Plan guidance, Sadiq is
leading the way in London to ensure fire safety is embedded in the early stages
of all planning processes.

This guidance sets out how developers should demonstrate compliance with the
Mayor’s detailed London Plan policies to achieve the highest standards in fire
safety and ‘safe and dignified’ evacuations. This is in addition to the
Government’s fire safety considerations that apply only to a limited number of
buildings at the planning application stage.

The draft guidance also highlights that it is the responsibility of
developers to demonstrate that their developments can be constructed and
occupied safely with regards to the highest standards of fire safety, in a way
that won’t impact neighbouring buildings. To ensure this, the design of the
development needs to consider fire safety and the safe and dignified evacuation
for all from the outset – for example, where a fire engine will park in the
event of fire, whether there is a safe and accessible evacuation route for
occupants, whether the external walls are made of non-combustible materials and
what fire safety measures will be incorporated into the buildings.

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