Enforcement of Means of Escape under the Fire Safety Order

Elspeth Grant made this Freedom of Information request to West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was successful.

Dear West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service,

1. The number of low, medium and high-rise residential buildings in your area (or your current/best estimate of them) covered by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

2. The total number of deficiency and/or enforcement notices served to the owners of these buildings relating to means of escape (Articles 14(2)(b) & 15 (1)(b)), since July 2021 to the date of this FOI

3. The number of deficiency and/or enforcement notices served to the owners of these buildings specifically relating to the identification of vulnerable and disabled residents, and planning for their escape (Articles 14(2)(b) & 15 (1)(b)), since July 2021 to the date of this FOI

4. Copies of the notices referred to in (3)

5. The fire authority's current policy covering the evacuation of disabled people from multi-occupancy buildings during a fire

Yours faithfully,

Elspeth Grant

westsussex@infreemation.co.uk, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

Dear Elspeth Grant

Thank you for your request which has been assigned reference FOI/5012

Freedom of Information request - Enforcement of Means of Escape under the
Fire Safety Order

If you have submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) or the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), we aim to
respond within the statutory timescale of 20 working days, i.e. by or on
14/04/2023. 

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this request, please
reply to this email leaving the subject line unchanged.

Yours sincerely,
West Sussex County Council

 

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References

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westsussex@infreemation.co.uk, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

Dear Elspeth Grant,

Our Ref: FOI/5012

On 15/03/2023 you made the following request for information, which has
been dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

Enforcement of Means of Escape under the Fire Safety Order

We have now completed a search for the information which you requested and
confirm that this Authority holds data relevant to your request.

The Response to your request is as follows:

1. The number of low, medium and high-rise residential buildings in your
area (or your current/best estimate of them) covered by the Regulatory
Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

2. The total number of deficiency and/or enforcement notices served to the
owners of these buildings relating to means of escape (Articles 14(2)(b) &
15 (1)(b)), since July 2021 to the date of this FOI

3. The number of deficiency and/or enforcement notices served to the
owners of these buildings specifically relating to the identification of
vulnerable and disabled residents, and planning for their escape (Articles
14(2)(b) & 15 (1)(b)), since July 2021 to the date of this FOI

4. Copies of the notices referred to in (3)

5. The fire authority's current policy covering the evacuation of disabled
people from multi-occupancy buildings during a fire

The Authority declines to disclose the information you have requested and
has applied the exemption in Section 12.   I confirm that the authority
holds information falling within the description specified in your
request. However, we estimate that the cost of complying with your request
would exceed the appropriate limit. The appropriate limit has been
specified in regulations and for local authorities it is set at £450. This
represents the estimated cost of one person spending 2 1/2 working days in
determining whether the Department holds the information, and locating,
retrieving and extracting the information. Under section 12 of the Freedom
of Information Act the Department is not obliged to comply with your
request and we will not be processing your request further.

If you were to make a new request for a narrower category of information,
it may be that we could comply with that request within the appropriate
limit, although I cannot guarantee that this will be the case. You may
wish to ask for assistance in narrowing your request. 

Having applied an absolute exemption I am not required to consider the
balance of public interest for and against disclosure.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your
own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for
the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial
publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. Most
documents supplied by us will be copyright of West Sussex County Council.

Information you receive which is not subject to WSCC continues to be
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information originated. You must ensure that you gain their permission
before reproducing any third party (non WSCC) information.

If you have any queries about any of this information please contact me
 by responding to this email. Please do not amend the Subject line.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you may
wish to ask for a review of our decision  by responding to this email.
Please do not amend the Subject line.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally,
the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our internal
review procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

[1]www.ico.org.uk; or

The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team

 

 

 

References

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1. http://www.ico.org.uk/

DearSir/Madam,

Thank you for your reply to my FOI request and I have read your response with interest,

However, the information provided does not address the fundamental information I requested about the enforcement of means of escape for disabled people as required by:

1. UN Convention of the Rights of Disabled People Article 31 - Statistics and Data Collection

2. Public Equality Duty (PSED) reporting obligations Technical Guidance,
2a Section 6.22 The Specific Duty to Publish Equality Information and
2b. Annex 7: the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and public Authorities) Regulations 2017: Schedule 2 Regulation 4(1) Public authorities required to publish information

The Technical Guidance can be referred to at: please refer to: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/p...

Please can you provide the detailed information requested or advise me why you believe that East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services are not required to meet these.

Yours sincerely,

Elspeth Grant

westsussex@infreemation.co.uk, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

Dear Elspeth Grant

We acknowledge receipt of your email to West Sussex County Council

We will pass your email on to the team handling your case FOI/5012.

 

If your email requires a response it will be issued within twenty working
days. If that is not possible then we will contact you again.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

FOI Team

westsussex@infreemation.co.uk, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

Dear Elspeth Grant,

Ref:FOI/5012

Thank you for requesting an explanation of the council's application of
the section12 exemption. This is being treated as a request for a review
of the council's response to your enquiry under the legislation. The
review will now be initiated.

The usual timescale for a review is 20 working days, that is by or on
10/05/2023 but we will of course attempt to complete the review and issue
our formal response as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team

Dear FOI Team

Thank you or letting me know and I look forward to the result of the review with interest,

Yours sincerely,

Elspeth Grant

westsussex@infreemation.co.uk, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

Dear Elspeth Grant

We acknowledge receipt of your email to West Sussex County Council

We will pass your email on to the team handling your case FOI/5012.

 

If your email requires a response it will be issued within twenty working
days. If that is not possible then we will contact you again.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

FOI Team

westsussex@infreemation.co.uk, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

Dear Elspeth Grant

 

Our ref: FOI/5012

As you requested I have reviewed the Council's response to your request
for information. My findings are as follows:

I have determined that we can provide the following return, based upon
us applying a judgement of the types of premises that is being asked
for. The reason for initial exemption is that to have provided low/
medium/ high rise information would have meant looking at a large number
of records to determine whether it was relevant or not, since our data
gathering system is based around the requirements of the Governments
annual IRMP return, which the premises that you have requested does not
align to. I believe that we are appropriate in what we are now covering
(that being purpose built blocks of flats) to give you something that
would not breach the 2.5 day limit. Equally, to have responded in line of
article 14(2)(b) and article 15(1)(b) would have meant opening each of the
records individually, pulling up each of the physical audit forms and
letters, to then make a judgement as to whether those specific sub-section
of the legislation had been breached. 

 

 1. The number of low, medium and high-rise residential buildings in your
area (or your current/best estimate of them) covered by the Regulatory
Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

• WSFRS do not record residential buildings as low, medium or high
rise. WSFRS records that there are approximately 416 “Purpose
Built Blocks of Flats” within our regulatory area.

 

 2. The total number of deficiency and/or enforcement notices served to
the owners of these buildings relating to means of escape (Articles
14(2)(b) & 15 (1)(b)), since July 2021 to the date of this FOI.

• WSFRS do not record audit outcomes by sub-section of the
legislation, we record in line with the overarching Article.
• Article 14, deficiencies = 23, and 4 enforcement notices
• Article 15, deficiencies = 4, and 1 enforcement notices

 

 3. The number of deficiency and/or enforcement notices served to the
owners of these buildings specifically relating to the identification
of vulnerable and disabled residents, and planning for their escape
(Articles 14(2)(b) & 15 (1)(b)), since July 2021 to the date of this
FOI.

• The audit forms relevant to this question do not detail that the
deficiency relates to persons with disability, and refers only to
all relevant persons.

 

 4. Copies of the notices referred to in (3)

• As referred to in #3 none of the notices specify the identification of
vulnerable or disabled residents, therefore there are no notices that
need to be provided to meet the requirements of your request.

 

 5. The fire authority's current policy covering the evacuation of
disabled people from multi-occupancy buildings during a fire.

• WSFRS do not have a stand-alone policy relating to the evacuation
of disabled people from multi-occupancy buildings during a fire.
Our Incident Commanders will consider the needs of all persons
who may be at direct risk of death or injury from a fire, and
will evacuate/ rescue all of those necessary based upon the
dynamic elements of that incident. WSFRS will consider the need
to have a specific policy on this once HM Government publish any
response to both the PEEPS consultation and the EEIS+
consultation that have been undertaken in the past few years.

 

If you remain dissatisfied, you have the right to appeal to the
Information Commissioner as explained in the initial response.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team