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High Rise Flats: Fire Prevention

Question for Home Office

UIN 29760, tabled on 8 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department holds information on businesses providing waking watch services in buildings with unsafe cladding materials.

Answered on

16 July 2021

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the FSO), the Responsible Person for each building is required to ensure appropriate fire safety measures are in place within their building. If a responsible person uses a waking watch as part of a wider building fire safety strategy to mitigate the risks in a particular building, as informed by a fire risk assessment, it is for them to ensure its adequacy.

The Government and NFCC make available guidance to support those responsible in complying with the FSO and ensuring their premises remain safe for continued use but does not monitor service providers. The National Fire Chiefs Council has recently revised its Simultaneous Evacuation Guidance which reflects best practice and can be located at

This guidance encourages greater use of more cost-effective measures such as alarm systems to replace or reduce dependency on waking watch wherever possible.

Local fire and rescue authorities and other enforcers of the FSO can take action where the fire safety measures fall short of compliance.

Answered by

Home Office