Fire safety inspections last year hit a worryingly low level nationwide. Even though hundreds of inspections are carried out weekly on care homes, hospitals, high-rises, schools, shops and many other businesses, the rate at which these inspections are taking place is dropping. Last year there were 48 400 fire audits nationwide. While this sounds like a large number, it is concerning that it was 43 per cent fewer that in 2010-2011.
There are many questions that arise from this data and more worryingly there are concerns with staff as well as consumer safety and welfare. Matt Wrack the General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said that preventative work has been slashed due to over a decade of government cuts. Mr Wrack voiced his concern that “the scale of the building safety crisis is beyond all current comprehension.”
46 per cent of the audits carried out in Dorset and Wiltshire last year resulted in an “unsatisfactory” rating. This further highlights the lack of urgency in tackling the problem. Further support is needed throughout the sector. Funding is lacking and with more buildings and new companies being continuously built it is a no brainer that more audits will be needed in the future. If such a large chunk of the inspections taking place are not satisfactory, what could be said of many of the buildings that have not been inspected?