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20045 – Fire safety Audits

Ref: FOI/20045

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested further to your freedom of information request.

Please find below a summary of our findings.

Request

  1. How many fire safety audits were undertaken in the financial year:
  2. a) 2017/18
  3. b) 2018/19
  4. c) 2019/20

Reply

The number of audits undertaken in 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 is exempt under section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as this information is reasonably accessible to the requestor. Information concerning fire safety audits undertaken can be found in table 1202– Fire Safety Audits carried out by Fire and Rescue Services, by fire and rescue authority at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables

The number of audits undertaken in 2019/20 is exempt under Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Information intended for future publication. Details will be published in table 1202– Fire Safety Audits carried out by Fire and Rescue Services, by fire and rescue authority at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables

Request

  1. Number of fire safety audits conducted at the following type of premises in 2019/20

Hospital

School

House converted to flats

Purpose built flats

HMO

Shop

Office

Licensed premises

Hotel

Care home

Factory

Warehouse

  1. Number of fire safety audits conducted in 2019/20 at the following type of premises that identified no suitable or sufficient assessment had been undertaken – article 9 (1) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Hospital

School

House converted to flats

Purpose built flats

HMO

Shop

Office

Licensed premises

Hotel

Care home

Factory

Warehouse

  1. Number of fire safety audits conducted in 2019/20 by the following type of premises that identified no record of the significant findings of the assessment-article 9 (6b) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Hospital

School

House converted to flats

Purpose built flats

HMO

Shop

Office

Licensed premises

Hotel

Care home

Factory

Warehouse

Reply

The number of audits by premises and the results of the inspections undertaken in 2019/20 is exempt under Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Information intended for future publication. Details will be published in table 1204 – Fire Safety Returns, by fire and rescue authority, by fire and rescue authority at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables

Request

  1. How many programmed fire safety audits do you calculate have not been undertaken during COVID -19 up to the date of this FOI?

Reply

West Midlands Fire Service have been continuing doing desk top fire safety appraisal audits during COVID-19. These have not been full visit audits and to date 1250 have been completed, however the return for the home office is completed for all audits in whatever format.

If you have any queries about this Freedom of Information request, please contact us. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.

20033 – High rise response

Ref: FOI/20033

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested further to your freedom of information request.

Please find below a summary of our findings, as of the 14th March, 2020.

Request

Are there any High-Rise Residential buildings in your response are, if yes how many and what is the size of the tallest structure?
When it comes to confirmed and unconfirmed fires in High-Rise buildings, what is your Pre-Determined Attendance?
Since the Grenfell fire have you made changes to your Pre-Determined Attendance

Is there an operational policy for dealing with High-Rise Buildings? If so, would it be possible to share the operational policy information with me?
Reply

This information is exempt under section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as this information is reasonably accessible to the requestor. Information concerning our response to high rise incidents can be found on West Midlands Fire Service website at the following link: https://www.wmfs.net/foi-entry/high-rise-19011/

Request

How many mobilizations have you had for High-Rise building fires per year in the last three years? Out of these responses what is the total amount in which firefighting actions had to be carried out?

Reply

The below data is for primary fires at all buildings, residential and non-residential, therefore including hospitals, shopping centres, residential tower blocks, etc between 01/01/2017 and 31/12/2019,

buildings consisting of 5 or more floors above ground including the ground floor:

year Fires Fires with firefighting
2017 171 96
2018 187 99
2019 231 133

buildings consisting of 7 or more floors above ground including the ground floor:

year Fires Fires with firefighting
2017 127 70
2018 152 80
2019 179 105

All data for the current financial year is provisional and subject to change following end-of-year data quality checks.

Request

As a result of a couple of high-rise building fires there is major concerns on the stay put policy. Therefore, can you best describe from a fire officers point of view, until what circumstances does the stay put policy need to be overcome during a fire by the fire service?
As a result of the Grenfell fire can you summarize the main changes to your procedures.

As a result of the phase 1 Grenfell Enquiry recommendations. How have you changed the way you manage or control evacuation procedure

What do you think are the most positive things you have changed to improve evacuation procedures?

Reply

This information is exempt under section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as this information is reasonably accessible to the requestor. Information concerning our evacuation procedure can be found on West Midlands Fire Service website at the following link: https://www.wmfs.net/foi-entry/foi19138/

 

Request

Does your firefighting personal undertake familiarization visits to High-Rise buildings? If so, how frequent?
Reply

As a fire and rescue service we undertake familiarisation visits to gather information to enable us to extinguish fires and protect life and property as defined in Section 7 (2)d of the Fire Services Act 2004.

Our familiarisation model for site visits outlines six main ‘risk areas’; Firefighter Safety, Individual and Societal, Environment, Community, Heritage and Economic. This model accepts the judgement of the person making the risk assessment, the staff involved with assessing the risk areas fully understand the process. Once an initial visit had been conducted, the risk score will inform the frequency of re-visits. With those premises assessed as high risk being visited on an annual basis.

If you have any queries about this Freedom of Information request, please contact us. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.

20023 – Waking Watches

Ref: FOI/20023

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested further to your freedom of information request.

Please find below a summary of our findings.

Request

The number of residential buildings in your authority area where a permanent ‘waking watch’ (fire wardens) are in place due to fire safety concerns

Response

WMFS has 8 residential buildings currently with ‘waking watches in place due to fire safety concerns

Request

The number of these where the reason for the waking watch relates to concerns about the cladding/external façade of the building

Response

Of the 8 residential buildings with waking watches 7 are for those with cladding issues

Request

The length of time these waking watches have been in place

Response

Waking watches have been in place as follows

1 property – 28-1-20

1 property – 18/11/19

6 properties – 6/12/19

Request

If available, the number of fires attended at these buildings since 2017

Response

The number of fires attended at properties with ‘waking watches’ is 4.

Request

Incident reports (IRS reports) of these fires

Response

Further detail about individual incidents is classed as personal data and therefore attracts a Section 40(2) exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Disclosure of the information may cause damage and distress to the individuals involved so would therefore be unfair to disclose it and contravene principle 1 of the Data Protection Act 2018.

If you have any queries about this Freedom of Information request, please contact us. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.

19143 – Fire service enforcement actions and prosecutions

Ref: FOI/19143

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested on 21st October 2019.

Please find below a summary of our findings.

Request

How many, in each of the past 10 financial years (2009-2019) years:

  1. Enforcement notices have been issued
  2. Prohibition notices have been issued
  3. Prosecutions instigated.

Reply

This information is exempt under section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as this information is reasonably accessible to the requestor. Information concerning our Fire prevention and protection activities can be found on Gov.UK website at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables#fire-prevention-and-protection

The data is available in the section headed Fire prevention and protection – FIRE1204:Fire safety returns, by fire and rescue authority.

Enforcement, Alteration and prohibition notices are listed under Fire Safety Audits & Outcomes.

Request

How many, in each of the past 10 financial years (2009-2019) years:

3 prosecutions instigated.

Reply

Please see below

 

Prosecutions instigated. 2009-2019
2009-10 2 2014-15 15
2010-11 7 2015-16 5
2011-12 2 2016-17 9
2012-13 9 2017-18 1
2013-14 3 2018-19 3

 

If you have any queries about this Freedom of Information request, please contact us. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.

19104 – Short term lets

Ref: FOI/19104

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information requested on 8th July 2019.

Please find below a summary of our findings.

Request

What is the West Midlands Fire Service’s policy on whether properties available for short-term letting such as through Airbnb are in scope of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Reply

The West Midlands fire Service do not have a specific policy on short term letting. WMFS follow national guidance and specifically guidance provided in a government document called ‘Paying Guests’.  (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/11085/payingguests.pdf)

Request

What are the details of the West Midlands Fire Service’s inspection programme and compliance strategy for Airbnb and similar short-term letting properties in the West Midlands.

Reply

The West Midlands Fire Service inspect premises through a Risk Based Inspection Programme or our Referral and Complaints system. Airbnb properties have no specific inspection programme.

Request

In each of the past 5 years, what data has the West Midlands Fire Service (i) requested and (ii) received regarding the location of Airbnb and similar short-term letting properties in the West Midlands and from whom.

Reply

Data has not been specifically gathered from short-term letting properties by West Midlands Fire Service as we have had not identified a specific need, rise in referrals, rise in complaints about this type of property or experienced any operational learning internally or nationally.

Request

In each of the past 5 years, how many Airbnb properties in the West Midlands have been audited to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Fire Safety Order.

Reply

Our risk-based system does not have a separate category for Airbnb which we can search on and so properties would come under the banner of ‘sleeping risk’. Therefore, I could not give you a specific number. Our risk-based system takes into account size and complexity of the building, so it is unlikely that a normal domestic property offering Airbnb services would be scored as very high and requiring audit on our system.

If you have any queries about this freedom of information request, please contact us.  Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW

 

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.

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