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Probe into fire danger in London tower blocks after death blaze

PUBLISHED: 18:00 08 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:35 05 October 2010

FIRE regulations are being looked into by the London Assembly in a bid to curb dangers facing families in tower blocks. It is examining whether regulations are effective in reducing fire risks and if they could be tightened

By Mike Brooke

FIRE regulations are being looked into by the London Assembly in a bid to curb dangers facing families in tower blocks.

It is examining whether regulations are effective in reducing fire risks and if they could be tightened.

The investigation follows the tragedy when six people including a baby and two children died in a blaze in a London tower block last summer.

Fire safety issues are now being fiercely debated at City Hall, with 16 of the 19 boroughs across Britain with more than two per cent of the population living on the fifth floor or higher being in Greater London. One of the densest population areas for high-rise blocks is Tower Hamlets in East London.

The Assembly’s Planning & Housing chair Jenny Jones said: “We need to be sure regulations are robust and cut the risk of a fire. It is critical our tall buildings meet safety standards and that new-buildings are safe from the moment construction begins.”

Her committee is looking into existing planning policies as well as current regulations for tower blocks and timber-framed buildings.

Fire crews rescued 30 people at the 12-storey Lakanal House in south-east London after a blaze broke out on the ninth floor on July 4 last year, which spread rapidly to the 11th floor.

The bodies of a six-year-old child and two adults were found at the scene. A three-week-old baby, a seven-year-old child and a woman later died in hospital.


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