NFCC High Rise PDA response
Fire safety is designed into purpose built blocks of flats through passive and active measures. Buildings must be built to ensure compliance with Building Regulations and associated guidance.
These internal fire safety measures are captured in the fire risk assessment and include compartmentation, means of escape, firefighting, evacuation strategy, fire detection and alarm systems. The measures apply throughout the life of a building, including when modifications are made that impact on its fire safety. When applied appropriately, these measures mean a fire in a flat presents no greater risk than a fire in a house.
The fire and rescue service (FRS), together with other bodies, has a central role in ensuring the continued fire safety of a building. It is important that these measures, and any associated risks, are considered in an integrated way alongside the FRS Prevention and Operational response activities.
FRS Prevention activities complement the work of fire safety auditors through engaging with the tenants and residents to ensure their safety knowledge is heightened and that they know how to act in the event of a fire.
FRS across the UK deliver this preventative messaging through Home Fire Safety Checks and enhanced Safe and Well Visits, thereby ensuring the most vulnerable are protected and fires are prevented. The targeting of high rise residential blocks remains a priority for the FRS.
The NFCC support the approach of FRS determining PDAs for specific incident types on the basis of their operational risk assessment (ORA). Each ORA will be cognisant of the need to achieve the appropriate speed and weight of attack.
The ORA is informed by National Operational Guidance which identifies the hazards and risk control measures associated with high rise incidents and is further supported by the development of Site Specific Risk Information (SSRI) plans. This will include the provision or otherwise of aerial appliances. It should be noted however that it will always be most expedient to fight a fire from within the building using the facilities designed for use by the FRS.