§ Mr. Molloy
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are being taken to investigate further the circumstances of the fire at Longlents House, Brent, on 4th February, and, in the light of the points of general application which arise, to promote improved 230W standards of fire precautions in high-rise blocks of flats.
§ Mr. Roy Jenkins
A full report on the fire is being laid before the Central Fire Brigades Advisory Council for England and Wales which advises me on fire matters. The council is being invited to consider all matters of general application arising out of the fire that fall within its field of responsibility, and in particular:
- (a) the means of advising tenants in high-rise blocks of flats about what they should do to prevent fires and if fire breaks out;
- (b) fire warning arrangements in such flats; and
- (c) fire fighting and rescue procedures in these circumstances.
Similarly my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment is submitting the report to the Building Regulations Advisory Committee, which advises him on matters relating to building regulations covering, among other things, structural fire precautions and the design and layout of buildings so as to provide means of escape from fire. This committee is being asked to advise whether the relevant building regulations require amending under the wider powers that will be available under Part III of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act and, in particular:
- (i) whether the type and layout of heating arrangements for such premises should be controlled; and
- (ii) whether building regulations should be extended to deal with the provision of fire alarms.
It will be open to these advisory committees to consider any other matters which in their view call for attention and to obtain whatever information they may deem necessary for the purpose of making recommendations to me and to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment.