Fire safety audit shows increased Southwark tower block risk

There are 174 council-owned high rise residential blocks in Southwark. In July 2019 we audited the fire risk assessments (FRA's) for those blocks. Our research at the time showed that more than 67% of the blocks had an overall fire safety rating beyond 'tolerable'.

More than 18 months later, we revisit the fire risk assessments to see what, if anything, has changed.

Southwark Council publish the fire risk assessments for all their high rise blocks on their website. We looked at each assessment and plotted it on a spreadsheet to compare to our previous audit. Of the total 174 high rises, updated fire risk assessments had been published for 126 blocks.

Of those 126 blocks, this is what we found:

76 blocks (more than 60%) showed no change or improvement to their overall rating, compared to their previous FRA.

Only 19 of these were of 'Tolerable' rating in the first place, the remaining 57 were considered to be of Low/High Moderate or Substantial risk.

In 2019 Southwark Council commented on our previous audit, saying: 'Classifications of Low Moderate or High Moderate do not mean that there are immediate risks to safety but are an indicator that work is required. This level of risk is considered to be acceptable in the short term.'

34 blocks (over 26%) showed a worse rating compared to their previous FRA

16 blocks (over 12%) showed an improved rating compared to their previous FRA

In conclusion

35 blocks had either remained at a 'tolerable' risk level, or seen an improvement to their rating compared to their last FRA.

91 blocks were considered to be at moderate or substantial risk, or had received a worse overall rating than their previous FRA.

View the full data here

Southwark FRA Feb 2021
Download XLSX • 18KB

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© 2017-2020 by Danielle Gregory. Ledbury Action Group.