The regulator’s latest fire safety remediation report attributes the reduction “at least in part” to the completion of remedial works in some buildings

The Regulator of Social Housing has reported that out of more than 17,000 buildings assessed by social landlords, 1,820 were found to have a ‘life-critical’ fire safety defect related to the external wall system as of 31 March this year.

Fire safety inspector shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

This marks a 6% decrease in the number of buildings with such defects compared to the previous survey, which was based on data as of 30 November 2023.

The previous survey revealed that 1,952 buildings owned by local authorities and housing associations had a ‘life-critical’ fire safety (LCFS) defect related to the EWS.

The regulator has attributed the reduction “at least in part to be due to remedial works being completed in some buildings and a subsequent FRA (fire risk assessment) identifying no LCFS defects”.

Of the 1,820 buildings with EWS-related LCFS defects, work is complete on 6% of them and is underway on a further 29%.

Work is due to commence on a further 13% of those buildings in the next six months (by the end of September 2024).

Landlords report that 88% of buildings with EWS-related LCFS defects are expected to be remediated within the next 5 years.

Over half (54.4%) of the buildings with fire safety defects are between 11 and 18 metres in height.

In the previous quarter, 11-18 metre buildings and 18 metre plus buildings each accounted for 50% of buildings with EWS-related LCFS defects.

In the latest fire safety remediation survey, landlords reported that they have 17,375 buildings over 11 metres in height.

The majority of these, 12,447 (72%), are 11-18 metre buildings, with 4,928 buildings (28%) measuring 18 metres or more in height.

Private registered providers are responsible for 54% of the buildings reported and local authorities are responsible for the remaining 46%.

The RSH said that fire risk assessments have been undertaken on 98.5% of all buildings reported, increasing from 97.6% reported in the November survey.

>> See also: Fire risk assessments completed on 98% of blocks, second RSH survey says

>> See also: Lewisham Council found non-compliant as 5,000 fire safety actions overdue

There are plans in place to assess a further 0.7% by the end of September 2024.

The survey for quarter four (1 January to 31 March) also collected information about non-EWS defects and the costs of remediation.

The RSH is currently analysing the data and expects to share the findings in a subsequent report.

The regulator has highlighted that “landlords are expected to take timely action to remediate LCFS defects from the buildings they are responsible for, so that tenants are safe and can feel safe in their homes”.

The report states that “it is for boards and councillors to ensure these plans are delivered. Risks to tenants in any interim period before works are complete must be fully understood, with landlords taking mitigating actions required to protect tenants as necessary”.