Following extensive consultation, the National Fire Chiefs Council-led
(NFCC) stakeholder group have updated the guidance on simultaneous evacuation
and introduced some key changes.
The main edits advise consultation with residents and
leaseholders to explore cost and benefit options, emphasises the need to consider
the installation of common fire alarms where measures are now, or are likely to
be in place for the longer terms, and provides a clear distinction between
waking watch and evacuation management as separate roles. It also emphasises
that residents can carry out waking watches and evacuation management duties so
long as they are appropriately trained.
It also contains new definitions for ‘short term’ and
‘temporary’; the former being the time required to formulate a long-term plan,
and no longer than 12 months, and the latter being non-permanent measures
implemented to mitigate an unacceptable risk in a building, as an interim
measure, adopted for the safety of residents while works to rectify the
identified fire safety failings are carried out.
This updated guidance means that all Responsible Persons for
affected buildings should review their fire risk assessment to ensure the fire
safety arrangements including the interim measures in place are appropriate. Such
a change to the evacuation strategy should only be considered when all other interim risk mitigation measures,
have been found to be insufficient in managing the risk. The guidance sets out measures to support the immediate safety
of residents, whilst fully accepting that the principle way to reduce risk is
to urgently remediate the non-compliant external wall systems.
As a fully contributing member of the NFCC,
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service supports and adopts a number of
position statements. You can view the Simultaneous Evacuation Guidance on our website.