More than 100 people across the spectrum relating to social housing in Merseyside attended a seminar run by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service focusing on the fire risk management of vulnerable people, vulnerable places.

There were two external key note speakers at the seminar. One of the key note speakers, Gary Lund of Sheffield Homes, covered the key topics associated with fire risk management within the organisation’s property portfolio and recognition of who and where vulnerable people reside and what measures can be used to enhance their safety in case of fire, from a landlord’s perspective.

The other key note speaker, Steve Mills of the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA), gave an overview of a project to provide a real life costing of retro-fitting a sprinkler system to a high-rise block of flats used as “sheltered” accommodation as well as a case study on the financial implications experienced by Gorbals Housing following a fire at one of their premises.

The Chair of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Dave Hanratty, gave an insight into the Local Government Association working group’s activity in seeking a review of Building Regulations to support the greater use of water suppression systems and highlighted the scale of the problems with fires in high-rise flats.

The audience also benefited from an overview of fire safety legislation and its focus on identifying fire risk, those who could be most at risk and what measures could be considered for the fire safety of vulnerable people.

The event was also attended by the Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan and Area Manager Myles Platt, who gave a presentation during the day,

The Deputy Chief Fire Officer said: “This day, which was well attended by social landlords from across Merseyside, covered a variety of topics from examples of fires in blocks of flats and the particular risks to elderly and vulnerable people, to what can be done to protect the most vulnerable in our community. The aim was to highlight a number of issues to raise awareness so we can work together in partnership to make Merseyside safer.”

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