Why is our Protection work so important?
There are approximately 32,000 commercial premises within Tyne and Wear and it is our role to support compliance with fire safety legislation and mitigate any risk to communities.
How do we currently deliver our Protection work?
To identify our priorities our Risk Based Inspection Programme (RBIP) takes into account both risk and compliance of a premises.
The RBIP is continually monitored and data analysed utilising nine variables, including fires, injuries, Fire Safety Enforcement including Prohibition (PN’s) and Enforcement Notices (EN’s), and levels of risk and compliance within the premises to set the inspection frequencies.
In addition to commercial premises we also cover domestic dwellings in multi-occupied premises such as blocks of flats and it is this area which, following the Grenfell tragedy, has seen the greatest legislative changes in recent years and therefore is a primary focus for us.
Our primary focus remains education within the community, supplemented by enforcement as and when appropriate.
What are our proposals for future investment in our protection work?
We will continue to enhance safety in the commercial built environment ensuring those responsible for such premises are compliant with the required legislation by:
- Review our RBIP to ensure we’re targeting risk effectively.
- Increase frontline staff training in line with the national competency framework for fire regulators, to enable an increase in resources for inspection.
- From April 2024 a new inspection team will look to support the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) which will be led by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The BSR team will focus on High Rise Residential Buildings across the region although the scope of this may change over time.
The RBIP will be supported by a ‘hot strike’ methodology long used by operational staff following a fire. The department will look to use this method following the serving of Prohibition Notices to engage and educate the local community of a potential known risk within the area. It is known that in general the built environment in the surrounding community is often similar and therefore there is a likelihood of others being at risk in these properties.