Siambr, Welsh Assembly, C. Welsh Government
The Welsh government will begin taking applications for the surveys starting this fall. Credit: Welsh government

Wales to fund fire safety surveys for buildings over 11 metres

Julia Hatmaker

Money for the surveys will come from the Welsh Building Safety Fund and will be for multi-occupied buildings. Buildings that are 18 metres tall or more will be prioritised.

The Welsh government said the surveys would do more than just look at cladding, but also assess any internal issues. That includes ineffective compartmentation.

Survey results will be used to make a “Fire Safety Building Passport.” This document will set out the issues identified, what needs to be done about them and the timing for when needed fire safety measures will be put into place. These “passports” will be developed by those responsible for the buildings.

“What we do not yet know is exactly how many buildings are affected and to what extent,” said Julie James, minister for climate change. “It is critically important that we are able to understand the true scale of the problem in order to properly address it.

“Every building is different and the fire safety surveys will identify what measures and actions are required to make a multi-residential building as safe as it can be and protect lives and property in the event of a fire,” she continued.

Applications for the fire safety surveys can be sent in starting this autumn.

Funding the surveys marks the latest effort by the Welsh government to address fire safety. Last year, the government dedicated £10.5m to help remediate buildings in the social sector. Officials said 12 buildings made use of the funds.

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Sounds like a great scheme but could backfire for those living in unsafe buildings.

As much as it’s important to identify unsafe buildings, I’m in one in Manchester and am now paying £200 a month for steel fireproofing (on top of government support for cladding) and an extra £350 per month on insurance – as the survey deemed our building unsafe. Aggressively eating into savings and don’t know how long this will go on for.

If you’re going to cover the surveys, make sure you’re going to support the inevitable repairs.

By Tony