Assessing risks from fire

Owners of blocks of flats (or managers appointed by owners) are responsible for making sure that they understand the risks arising from fire, and for making sure that risks are managed and reduced to an acceptable level. This includes risk of fire from combustible cladding and other problems with external walls of buildings.

If you are concerned that your building has fire safety issues which have not been properly understood, you should ask the owner or agent to confirm that they have carried out a fire risk assessment, and what this found.

If the owner of the block is a Housing Association, please see their website for more information. Information on residential buildings owned or managed by Camden can be found here 

Action to reduce risks

If fire safety issues have been identified with the external walls of the property (perhaps as part of an EWS1 process required by a mortgage company), the owner or the agent should take action to reduce the risk to an acceptable level, guided by expert advice. This may include temporary interim fire safety measures, and works to permanently remove combustible cladding. You should ask the owner or agent to confirm whether works are needed, and how these will be carried out. 

If you have approached the owner or agent and believe the risks have not been properly assessed or reduced, London Fire Brigade have enforcement responsibility for the common parts of blocks of flats and they may be able to take action to make sure owners fulfill their responsibilities.

The terms of your lease will indicate how investigations, temporary measures, and remedial works are funded. Some Government funding is available in some circumstances, and your building owner may be able to apply. The Council is not involved in funding for privately owned buildings. 

The Council's role in privately owned blocks

The Council is not involved in funding for privately owned buildings. The Council's Private Sector Housing Team has powers under the Housing Act 2004 to inspect privately owned blocks of flats and assess risks arising from fire using the Housing Health And Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

If an  assessment shows there are very serious risks due to the external wall system, the Council may take formal enforcement action to ensure that the building owner carries out works necessary to reduce the risks to an acceptable level. In the most serious cases, this can include serving Improvement Notices requiring owners to remove dangerous cladding and replace with safer materials. The Council recognises that these works are complicated, expensive and will require advice from scarce experts and contractors, and will always seek to consult with owners, leaseholders and occupiers to ensure the most appropriate course of action is taken. 

If you believe there are increased fire risks arising from the external wall system at your block of flats, you should approach the owner first and ask for information about how they have assessed the risks from fire and whether any remedial measures are needed or being considered. If you are still concerned, you can contact either London Fire Brigade or the Private Sector Housing Team on