§ Mr. Hancock
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce regulations to require unregistered residential care homes to be inspected by the local environmental health and fire prevention officers; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Tracey
[pursuant to his reply, 27 February 1987]: Where local authorities consider premises to be houses in "multiple occupation", they have a duty under the Housing Act 1985 to inspect them from time to time. They also have a duty to secure adequate means of escape from fire in the larger ones (three storeys or more, with aggregated floor space over 500 sq m) and a discretionary power in respect of the remainder.
The Department's circular 12/86 recommends that on this aspect inspection should be carried out jointly by officers of the local authority and the fire authority, and the Act requires the local authority to consult the fire authority before serving any notice requiring works.
Annex B of the circular, copies of which are in the Library, also summarises the provisions of other legislation on means of escape from fire which may be applicable to residential care homes