HC Deb 01 February 1945 vol 407 cc1614-5
25. Sir Thomas Cook

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action is taken by the N.F.S. to ensure adequate fire protection in private houses now occupied by evacuated schools.

Mr. H. Morrison

The National Fire Service has no authority to prescribe the precautions to be taken against fire in private premises. The provision of adequate precautions is a matter for the owner or occupier. Comprehensive guidance on the subject is given in a handbook on "Fire Precautions in Schools," issued by the Home Office in 1935, a new edition of which is to be published in the near future. The National Fire Service will be glad to afford school authorities any assistance they can. Application should be made through the fire force commander.

Sir T. Cook

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that since I put down the Question there has been a fire in a well-known girls' school at Ascot? Will he institute some form of compulsory night watching in all schools of reasonable size?

Mr. Morrison

I will consider the case to which the hon. Gentleman refers, but the responsibility of those who conduct such schools is known, and I think it must be on them.