230017 - Home fire safety high-rise buildings

FOI Number: FOI230017

Where applicable, we publish responses to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This one, 230017 - Home fire safety high-rise buildings , is detailed below.

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Freedom of Information

Published on 22 February 2023

Ref: FOI/23017

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST  

West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information requested on 30th January 2023

Please find below a summary of our findings.

Request.

“home fire safety” high rise building in particular over 7 stories or 11-18 ft is a key focus.

I would absolutely transformed with an enlightened path if you could supply me with some credible data relating to 2021 -2022/23 for my report

I am focused on Top causes of house fires within West Midlands and Sandwell regions are of key interest to me. Do you have a pie chart or poster highlighting:

a.________% candle

Reply

Please find the requested information below:

  • % of candle fires (source of ignition)
    • West Midlands 2020/21 – 1.4%
    • West Midlands 2021/22 – 1.8%
    • Sandwell 2020/21 – 1.1%
    • Sandwell 2021/22 – 1.8%

Request.

b._________% children playing with fire

Reply

Please find the requested information below:

  • % of children playing with fire (aged between 0 and 17)
    • West Midlands 2020/21 – 16.1%
    • West Midlands 2021/22 – 12.1%
    • Sandwell 2020/21 – 0.0%
    • Sandwell 2021/22 – 13.0%

Request.

c. ______smoking

Reply

Please find the requested information below:

  • % of smoking material (cigarettes, cigars etc.) fires (source of ignition)
    • West Midlands 2020/21 – 6.0%
    • West Midlands 2021/22 – 5.6%
    • Sandwell 2020/21 – 4.2%
    • Sandwell 2021/22 – 4.8%

Request.

d.________% of house fires deaths that may have occurred in homes without working fire-alarm

Reply

Please find the requested information below:

  • % of dwelling fire deaths with no working smoke alarm
    • West Midlands 2020/21 – 0.0%
    • West Midlands 2021/22 – 14.2% (2)
    • Sandwell 2020/21 – 0.0%
    • Sandwell 2021/22 – 0.0%

Request.

e. ________% unattended or untimed cooking.

Reply

Please find the requested information below:

  • % of cooking – any other cooking left on or unattended (source of ignition)
    • West Midlands 2020/21 – 4.4%
    • West Midlands 2021/22 – 3.7%
    • Sandwell 2020/21 – 4.0%
    • Sandwell 2021/22 – 2.8%

Request.

f. ______% electrical faults

Reply

Please find the requested information below:

  • % of electrical fault fires (source of ignition)
    • West Midlands 2020/21 – 1.5%
    • West Midlands 2021/22 – 1.5%
    • Sandwell 2020/21 – 2.1%
    • Sandwell 2021/22 – 1.9%

Request.

g.._________% house fire cost private homeowner’s in estimated £___________

Reply

This information is exempt under section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as we do not hold this information private homeowners in estimated.

Request.

h.________% arson i._______% improvements/ escalations of fires drug-related

Reply

  • No data collected for arson fires – the information for this question relates to the motive ‘deliberate’ fires only
    • West Midlands 2020/21 – 13.7%
    • West Midlands 2021/22 – 12.8%
    • Sandwell 2020/21 – 14.6%
    • Sandwell 2021/22 – 11.1%
  • Arson is not a motive for the Fire Service. Legally the fire service can only recognise accidental, deliberate, or not known motives
  • Information related to where ‘alcohol/drugs’ was a factor involved in the incident
    • West Midlands 2020/21 – 1.9%
    • West Midlands 2021/22 – 1.7%
    • Sandwell 2020/21 – 1.5%
    • Sandwell 2021/22 – 1.1%

Request.

Are these data correct I relate them to” the Fire Safety Act 2022/23″ government site

PEEP’s (personal emergency evacuation plan )is omitted from enactment and is not advised for high-rise buildings

limited Hearing, Sight need information visible to firefighters

Reply

Please find link below to the government consultation on PEEPs in Highrise residential – stated this on 30/8/22

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/personal-emergency-evacuation-plans/personal-emergency-evacuation-plans-in-high-rise-residential-buildings-accessible-version#:~:text=that%20different%20context.-,PEEPs%20in%20a%20high%2Drise%20residential%20setting,the%20event%20of%20a%20fire.

Request.

What Remains in law is the “Stay Put” policy

Reply

The evacuation policy ‘stay put’ is still accepted in suitable buildings.

Please see following guidance – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-act-2021/fire-safety-act-commencement-prioritisation-guidance-accessible-version

Information to residents You must display fire safety instructions in a conspicuous part of the building.  The instructions must be in a comprehensible form that residents can reasonably be expected to understand. The instructions must cover the following matters: 

  • The evacuation strategy for the building (e.g. stay put or simultaneous evacuation) 

In addition please see Section 19, Page 27. – https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1128493/Fire_Safety_in_Purpose_Built_Blocks_of_Flats_Guide-update.pdf

Request.

Smoke, carbon monoxide and heat detector alarms must be replaced from batteries to direct mains connections (high rise buildings) auto connecting magnetic doors.

Reply

Please see relevant guidance – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/check-your-fire-safety-responsibilities-under-the-fire-safety-england-regulations-2022/check-your-fire-safety-responsibilities-under-the-fire-safety-england-regulations-2022#do-the-regulations-only-apply-to-high-rise-residential-buildings

Request.

Fire-doors must meet the 30 mins resistance criteria

Reply

The British Standard for Fire doors BS479 part 22 / BS EN 1634 part 1 states that fire doors (designated as FD30) should provide 30 minutes fire resistance.

Request.

  • Quality checks on all fire doors in communal area quarterly
  • Front doors of tenants annually
  • Provision information to residents about importance of fire-doors

Reply

Please find link below to Fire safety England regs came in to 23/1/23 – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-england-regulations-2022 covering –

  • Quality checks on all fire doors in communal area quarterly
  • Front doors of tenants annually
  • Provision information to residents about importance of fire-doors

Request.

Plack installed outside electronically /technology data easily accessible

Reply

Premises Information Plates are provided in some local initiatives but are not required in law.

Please see following guidance – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/check-your-fire-safety-responsibilities-under-the-fire-safety-england-regulations-2022

The BIP’s are not a requirement in law but Secure Information boxes are. – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-england-regulations-2022/fact-sheet-secure-information-box-regulation-4

Request.

Finally, hope I have not exhausted you!

Representative Personnel must hand residents info for: alarm, hazard, electrical-safety, what to do, who to call, 2 planned escape route, night time routine, as well as knowledge about interconnecting smoke alarms.

Reply

The Fire Safety England regs above bring wayfinding signage for existing buildings over 18m and new buildings over 11m (via Approved document B)

Please find link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-england-regulations-2022/fact-sheet-wayfinding-signage-regulation-8

Please find link below to our website with more information

https://www.wmfs.net/our-services/fire-safety/residential-fire-safety/

Request.

How many fire call out were genuine in Sandwell but were small and did not spread?

Reply

  • The information for this question relates to incidents where no fire damage recorded, or the fire damage was under 1m2 and the total damage area was null
    • Sandwell 2020/21 – 170
    • Sandwell 2021/22 – 142

Request.

Did fake batteries/appliances bought online cause house fires? Is this a cause of concern?

Reply

This information is exempt under section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as we do not hold this information. We do not record incident caused by fake batteries/appliances bought online cause.

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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