Frequently asked questions

Fire Risk Assessments

On 3 July, the Leader of the Council, Georgia Gould made a public commitment to publish Fire Risk Assessments for all blocks above 10 storeys in the interests of resident safety and transparency. The first tranche, covering the five Chalcots blocks, have now been published and can be viewed here

When reading the FRAs, it is important to note that these reflect historic practice with Camden’s new practice detailed below and it is also important to bear in mind the following general points.

  • Fire Risk Assessments are a statutory requirement. They include an action plan which sets out what the Council should do to reduce the risk. 
  • They provide a snapshot of fire safety at the point in time at which they were carried out. The contents of the resulting action plan vary considerably as do the timescales which the report specifies for the completion of those works. 
  • Often the most urgent actions involve the removal of fire hazards in communal areas which would immediately reduce the fire risk. 
  • Any works to the fabric of the building such as fire doors or fire stopping between flats inevitably take longer to complete and a longer time is specified in the FRA. The Council seeks the advice of the London Fire Brigade on prioritisation and programmes these into planned maintenance. 
  • Standard industry practice to date has been to carry out FRAs on the communal areas of blocks only. As such they only provide a partial picture of the fire safety of a building and have not covered the cladding and the interiors of individual flats. 
Grenfell has however changed everything. 

So now and into the future 

  1. The Council will be appointing a new Director for Resident Safety. 
  2. A new wave of enhanced fire safety checks (over and above the current statutory requirement and beyond current best practice) on every block in Camden will be undertaken. These will be thorough and their scope will be clear. The reports will be published so the process is transparent to our residents.
  3. We will set up a borough wide resident safety-working group led by tenants and leaseholders to oversee these processes.
  4. Advise and provide training opportunities for tenants in every block in Camden on fire safety
FRAs are inevitably technical documents so we have produced a set of Frequently Asked Questions to help the reader to interpret them. Each individual FRA is prefaced with a summary and any subsequent actions the Council has taken in response. 

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