Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Nanny Bans Fire Extinguishers
Following on from yesterday's piece about Nanny banning firemen from entering smokers' homes to offer fire prevention advice, I would like to continue with the general theme of fire safety.
It transpires that those appliances that you and I assume are there to help us fight fires, fire extinguishers, are a clear and present danger to our health and safety.
That at least is the view of Nanny's chums in Hamilton Townsend, managing agents for a block of flats in Bournemouth.
A risk assessment (pass the sick bag) was recently carried at Avon House and Admirals Walk by a buildings risk assessor, these people make a very nice living on the back on Nanny's rules and regulations (under the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 the managing agents of every private block of flats must hire professional assessors to carry out a risk assessment).
The risk assessor recommended that the fire extinguishers be removed, as they are dangerous.
Seemingly these extinguishers may delay householders from escaping a blaze, and may be dangerous if they are used by untrained people....ah...an opportunity for some wide boy to charge us money to "train" us to use these things!
Rather bizarrely this report has the support of Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, to the extent that extinguishers have already been removed from the two blocks.
The hapless residents of Admirals Walk were informed in a letter from their managing agents that:
"unless all residents are trained to operate the fire extinguishers, there is no legal requirement to maintain these in communal areas of residential blocks".
Pete Whittaker, the protection policy manager at Dorset Fire and Rescue, said:
"As part of the assessment, the assessors now look to see whether fire extinguishers are actually required in that particular block. In some cases, they are no longer needed and provide more of a hazard being there.
We do not want to encourage people to leave their flat to fetch a fire extinguisher from a hallway and then return to a blaze. We want people to get out safely.
Obviously in some cases, an extinguisher could come in useful in a communal area but with new building regulations, every escape route should be completely fireproof. It very much depends on the individual property and what the assessor believes is the correct course of action."
It was not that long ago that Nanny was telling us to ensure that we all had fire extinguishers.
Given the onslaught of absurd and contradictory health and safety rulings and edicts, people have totally lost what vestiges of respect that they may have had for health and safety "professionals".
A "profession" that is rapidly consigning itself to the dustbin of history!