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NFCC Guidance on simultaneous evacuation guidance

Newsflash | 2020 News Articles

01 Oct 2020

Guidance to support a temporary change to a simultaneous evacuation strategy in purpose-built blocks of flats

Following extensive consultation, the NFCC-led stakeholder group have updated the guidance on simultaneous evacuation and introduced key changes. 

This is the third edition of the technical guidance on arrangements to support a temporary change to the evacuation strategy. Such a change should only be considered when all other interim risk mitigation measures, as set out in the consolidated advice note (linked to at the bottom of the page), have been found to be insufficient in managing the risk.  Following the increasing number of buildings being identified with combustible cladding and without any known guidance on changing from stay put to simultaneous evacuation, in 2017 NFCC and other sector stakeholders produced guidance to avoid people being removed from their homes. 

The guidance sets out measures to support the immediate safety of residents, whilst fully accepting that the principle way to reduce risk is to urgently remediate the non-compliant external wall systems. 

The main changes are outlined below:

  • Advises consultation with residents and leaseholders to explore cost/benefit options
  • Emphasises the need to consider the installation of common fire alarms where measures are now, or are likely to be in place for the longer term. 
  • Provides a clear distinction between waking watch and evacuation management as separate roles.
  • Emphasises that residents can carry out waking watches and/or evacuation management duties so long as they are appropriately trained

It also provides new definitions:

  • Short-term: the time required to formulate a longer-term remediation plan, as soon as practically possible and no longer than 12 months; and
  • Temporary: non-permanent measures implemented to mitigate an unacceptable risk in a building, as an interim measure, adopted for the safety of residents while works to rectify the identified fire safety failings are carried out.

 

Click here to read the guidance.

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