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20081- Building Fire Safety

Ref: FOI/20081

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information requested on 16th September 2020.

Please find below a summary of our findings.

Request

  1. I would like to know the most recent data for how many residential buildings (11m +) in your authority which have been identified as having fire safety concerns

Reply

At present we are concentrating on blocks over 18m and have identified approximately 118 buildings with fire safety concerns.

Request

  1. As a result of these concerns how many currently have 24 hour waking watches (fire wardens) in place

Reply

37

Request

3.The length of time these waking watches have been in place

Reply

These watches were set up between December 2017 and July 2020

Request

  1. Of these buildings how many times has the fire service has been called to fires or suspected fires at these buildings since June 2017.

Reply

45

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.

20073 – Fire safety inspections

Ref: FOI/20073

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. What inspections activities does the West Midlands Fire Service perform?

Reply

West Midlands Fire service carries out inspections to ensure compliance with the Fire Safety Order across the business community, taken form an electronic risk based inspection programme

Request

  1. How many inspections (of each type if possible) were performed in 2019/20?

Reply

This information is exempt under section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as this information is reasonably accessible to the requestor. Detail of all Fire safety inspections can be found on the internet at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables

The information requested is in Table – FIRE1202: Fire Safety Audits carried out by Fire and Rescue Services, by fire and rescue authority

Request

  1. How many inspectors do you employ, and what was the annual cost of these inspectors in 2019/20?

Reply

West Midlands Fire Service currently employs the following inspectors :

13 Watch Commander B

32 Watch Commander A

10.41 (FTE) green book T1A

See table below for employment costs

SC – Exc Flexi Duty WMB WMA T1A
Pay 44297 38611 36255 37849
NI 4900 4116 3790 4010
Pension 12758 11120 10441 7721
Total Cost 61955 53847 50486 49580
Pension based on 2015 scheme – 28.8%

Request

  1. Do you use third parties to perform these inspections? If so, who did you use, and what was the annual spend in 2019/20?

Reply

West Midlands Fire Service does not use any third parties to perform inspections

Request

  1. What information management system, if any, do you use to manage the inspections, and what was the annual spend on this in 2019/20

Reply

West Midlands fire Service uses an inhouse system called RIDGE, this has been developed to maintain our legal compliance of using a risk based inspection programme to identify and carry out our fire safety inspections in line with the Fire Safety Order

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.

20055- Grenfell recommendations

Ref: FOI/20055

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information requested on 23rd June 2020

Please find below a summary of our findings.

Request.

1.As required by the Grenfell recommendations, how many owners/managers of a high-rise residential building have confirmed to you they have carried out regular inspections of any lifts that are designed to be used by firefighters in an emergency?

  1. b) And reported these monthly as required?

Reply

West Midlands Fire Service collates information from owners/managers about individual premises and updates systems as and when it is presented. Our systems do not give a quantitative overview of changes. Therefore this part of your request is refused under Section 12 of the FOIA . The permitted time is approximately 250 hours to gather the information or to confirm or deny that it is held. I have attached a Fees Notice as required in the FOIA and we can proceed with establishing whether we hold the information once this is paid.

Request.

2.Has your fire and rescue service developed any policies for handling a large number of Fire Survival Guidance calls simultaneously?

Reply

Staffordshire and West Midlands Fire Control are actively reviewing existing FSG policy to support changes to working practices that have been introduced to the Control Room to help manage a large number of FSG calls simultaneously.

Request.

3.How many owners/managers of high-rise buildings have provided your local fire and rescue service with up-to-date plans in both paper and electron form of every floor of the building identifying the location of key fire safety systems?

Reply

See reply to question 1.

Request.

4.How many owners/managers of high-rise buildings have provided your fire and rescue service confirmation that there is a premises information box which contains a copy of the up-to-date floor plans and information about personal evacuation plans for residents who may struggle to do so.

Reply

See reply to question 1.

Sir Martin Bick-Moore requests that the recommendations become law, so they are only recommendations at this stage and are therefore not mandatory. As a Service we support the Phase 1 Enquiry recommendations and are working alongside our partners and building owners to make our communities safe from fire.

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.

 

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.

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