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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Firefighters to develop action plans for tall and complex buildings

07 March 2024

Owners and managers of high-rise residential buildings in Jersey are being urged to help firefighters plan in case of an incident.

Following the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and a subsequent change in legislation in the UK, the States of Jersey Fire and Rescue Service (SJFRS) is working in collaboration with several managing agents to introduce new safety measures for tall and complex buildings.

By sharing critical information – such as the construction of the building, locations of the dry riser inlets, escape routes, and the fire safety management of the building – firefighters should be able to arrive on-scene better equipped with more information relating to the building, to enable a rapid assessment and immediately instigate tactical operations.

As well as being stored digitally for fire crews to access en-route to an incident, managing agents and landlords are being asked to provide a Secure Information Box (SIB) in each building, where physical copies of the buildings’ particular details can be stored. This will provide the Incident Commander with vital intelligence in the early stages of an emergency.

To create the plan, operational fire officers and crews visit the premises to gather information on any notable hazards and risks and both SJFRS and managing agencies complete a Site Risk Questionnaire (SRQ). Once each section has been completed, the information will be collated and combined to provide a factual document to assist in decision making throughout an incident.

While there is currently no legal requirement in Jersey for managing agents and owners to make these plans or install an SIB, it is hoped those responsible for the buildings will work with the SJFRS to better protect the lives of their residents and structure of their buildings.

Fire Safety Protection Lead, Station Commander Ryan Hall, said: “It is really important that we follow and adopt the recommendations following the tragic Grenfell Tower incident.

“With an increasing built environment, premises information is going to be critical for the safety of our crews and the residents.

“Having this information en-route, and when we initially arrive, will give Commanders important knowledge of the buildings characteristics and enable them to make informed decisions to aid in a more rapid response when dealing with incidents in tall buildings.”

Engagement from property owners and managing agents is key to the delivery of this work. Michael Ruane, Lead – Property & Asset Management for Andium Homes, said: "We have been working closely with the Fire Service since the Grenfell disaster and have already upgraded our high rises with sprinklers, new fire doors and information boxes to keep clients safe and to assist the fire service respond to any incidents.

“We are grateful to have been part of the Fire Service's consultation and engagement in the delivery of the recommendations from the Grenfell Inquiry.” ​​

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