Redbridge firefighters to address spate of bedsit fires

Redbridge firefighters will meet with landlords next Wednesday (March 14) to address a spate of bedsit fires in the borough.

Between February 2011 and January, there were nine fires in houses with multiple private tenants which led to one death and six injuries.

On February 4, firefighters tackled a blaze in flats above a shop in Ilford Lane which meant 15 people had to be evacuated.

Along with Redbridge Council, the borough’s fire brigade is visiting Fullwell Cross Library, High Street, Barkingside, between 11am and 1pm.

Fire safety officers will provide up-to-date information to landlords to let them know their responsibilities and how to keep tenants, who are also welcome to visit, safe.

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In the last year, the council prosecuted landlords owning eight properties for 29 related offences and the brigade raised concerns over inappropriate buildings being used as accommodation and poor standards of electrical and gas safety.

Steve Brown, Redbridge fire borough commander, said: “Licensed landlords who ignore their responsibilities to their tenants are just as bad as unlicensed landlords who pay absolutely no regard to the safety of the people living in their properties.

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“We will be focusing on how both landlords and tenants can prevent and reduce the risk of having a fire in the first place.”

The importance of having smoke alarms; preparing escape plans in the case of fires; having up-to-date gas and electrical compliance certificates; making sure electrical equipment is in good repair and that furniture complies with regulations will be discussed.

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