Saturday, 29 April 2017

Inside Housing
Safe as Houses

Stories with this category.

  • Investigation after fire rips through high-rise


    A London Fire Brigade investigation is underway after a blaze ripped through five floors of a council’s high-rise block on Friday.

  • 'Variations' in association safety


    The approach to fire and carbon monoxide safety “varies considerably” among housing associations, with better regulations needed.

  • Which councils are retrofitting high rises with sprinklers?


    On the sixth anniversary of the deadly Lakanal House fire, an Inside Housing investigation finds that only a few councils are following the coroner’s recommendation and retrofitting their tower blocks with sprinklers. Kate Youde reports

  • Lakanal House to be brought back into use


    Plans to refurbish the south London tower block where six tenants died in a devastating fire five years ago have been outlined.

  • Council gives go-ahead for sprinklers in wake of Lakanal


    Southwark gives go-ahead to sprinklers for its most vulnerable residents

  • Fire victim's family to sue landlord


    The father of one of the victims of the Lakanal House tower block blaze has lodged a High Court claim against the landlord and fire authority involved.

  • A matter of life and death


    Now we know why the fire spread in Lakanal House in Southwark what can be done to stop it happening again?

  • New high-rise fears


    The majority of landlords are not convinced their tower blocks would contain fires in the way they should be designed to.

  • Lakanal judge: Tell residents about fire safety


    Residents in high-rise blocks must be aware of fire safety and be given clear advice in the event of a fire, the coroner of an inquest into six deaths in a tower block has recommended.

  • Jury finds council missed chances to stop tragedy


    The local authority landlord of a tower block in which six people died missed several opportunities to check the fire safety of their properties, the jurors in an inquest concluded. 

  • Lakanal jurors reminded of risk assessment failings


    A coroner pointed to limitations in the way fire risk assessments have been carried out at the inquest into the deaths of six people in a tower block fire.

  • Coroner highlights problems in Lakanal tragedy


    The coroner at the inquest into the deaths of six people during the Lakanal House fire has highlighted firefighters’ lack of knowledge of the block and the rapid spread of the blaze.

  • Lakanal House judge begins summing up


    The coroner at the inquest into the deaths of six people who died in a tower block blaze will start summing up today.

  • Lakanal fire victims should have been told to leave


    The six people who died in the Lakanal House tower block fire should have been told to get out of the building, an inquest has heard.

  • Lakanal House was at 'high risk from fire'


    A tower block in which six people died in a blaze was a high-risk building that should have been checked for fire hazards as a priority, an expert witness has told an inquest.

  • Fire safety concerns raised before tower block blaze


    Senior staff at Southwark Council were repeatedly warned about the need to carry out fire risk assessments before a fatal blaze at one of its tower blocks, an inquest has heard.

  • Council and contractor clash at fire death inquest


    The Lakanal House inquest has heard conflicting accounts of who should have taken responsibility for obtaining building control approval on a refurbishment of the 14-storey block.

  • Tower block upgrade could have sped up fatal fire


    Jurors at the inquest into the deaths of six people in a south London tower block yesterday heard how refurbishments in the building could have accelerated the fire.

  • Tower block deaths inquest hears how fire spread


    A jury yesterday heard how a fire spread rapidly and increased in strength as it ripped through a London council tower block killing six people. 

  • Stop this from happening again


    Last week a coroner found the deaths of two firefighters in a council-owned high-rise could have been prevented. Now he is urging ministers to order social landlords to improve the fire safety of all tower blocks. So what can be done and what might it cost? Martin Hilditch investigates

  • The cost of living


    Improving fire prevention systems in tower blocks is expensive, but the price of not doing the work could be human life

  • Lakanal fire chief ‘swamped with information’


    A firefighter in charge at the fatal Lakanal House tower block blaze failed to grasp the importance of information passed to him, an inquest heard on Friday.

  • Firefighter 'did not have time' to view vital list


    A firefighter has told an inquest he did not have time to look at a piece of paper with the numbers of flats where six people trapped in a council tower block fire died.

  • Firefighters visited block two months before blaze


    Firefighters did a routine check to familiarise themselves with a council tower block two months before six people died in a blaze in the building.

  • Firefighters talk of battling Lakanal blaze


    Firefighters told an inquest this week about their battle fighting the flames in a south London tower block where six people lost their lives.

  • Lakanal fire victim ‘told to leave the tower’


    The friend of a woman who died in a fatal tower block blaze in south London told an inquest last week how she told her to leave the building.

  • London landlords pulled up on fire safety


    London Fire Brigade has served five enforcement notices on social landlords in the borough of Southwark over the past six months.

  • Fire chief unaware of Lakanal House escape routes


    The first fire chief on the scene of a fatal tower-block blaze admitted he did not know the escape routes out of the building, at an inquest today.

  • Bereaved families give evidence to Lakanal inquest


    Families of the women and children who died in the Lakanal House fire have told jurors of their feelings of grief and loss, at an inquest this afternoon.

  • Ignoring the obvious


    Why is council housing still being ignored despite woeful house building figures for England?

  • A painful process


    The Lakanal inquest may provide some answers for families of the victims, but it should not have taken this long

  • Inquest hears of final calls of Lakanal victims


    Jurors at the inquest into the deaths of six people in a tower block fire have heard accounts of the final desperate phone calls they made to the fire service.

  • The lessons of Lakanal


    The Lakanal inquest needs to provide answers not just for the bereaved families, but for fearful tower-block residents across the UK

  • Inquest begins into tower block blaze


    The inquest into the deaths of six people who died in a tower block fire in south London more than three years ago will finally begin today.

  • Burning questions


    The Lakanal House inquest must answer critical questions about tower block safety

  • Review of the year 2012


    From the Queen’s diamond jubilee to the London Olympics, 2012 will be a year we’ll never forget. Here, Inside Housing looks at the ups and downs for the housing sector

  • Lakanal House inquest to go ahead in January


    The super inquest for six people who died in a tower block fire more than three years ago will go ahead in January.

  • Council spends £3m on tower blaze legal fees


    A south London council has spent more than £3 million on legal fees following a blaze in one of its tower blocks in which six people died.

  • A heated debate


    Why are fire extinguishers being removed from some tower blocks? Kate Youde investigates one of housing’s most surprising controversies.

  • Firestarter


    More fires start in flats than houses but firefighters don’t often get to train in real-life high-rises. Simon Brandon feels the heat as he joins West Midlands Fire Service on a rare drill in a council-owned block in Solihull

  • Fire fight


    Landlords should fit sprinklers in all their homes, argues Bill Randall. Doing so would save money in the long term and, more importantly, tenants’ lives

  • Tenants denied legal voice at tower block inquest


    Tenants in an identical nearby block to the one in which six people died in a fatal fire have lost their right to have legal representation to cross-examine witnesses at the inquest.

  • Householders face 'double the risk' of fires


    Householders may face twice as many fires as official figures suggest, according to research by an insulation firm released today.

  • Judge refuses to bring forward Lakanal inquest


    The judge presiding over the inquest into the six deaths in a south London tower block fire has decided not to bring forward the inquest.

  • CPS decision could undermine fire safety legislation


    Fire safety laws could be undermined if there is no prosecution over a south London tower block fire which killed six people, a fire chief has warned.

  • No manslaughter charges over Lakanal House fire


    The Crown Prosecution Service has decided not to press manslaughter charges over a tower block fire in which six people died.

  • A burning issue


    In the wake of several tragic fatalities, an Inside Housing investigation reveals social landlords are receiving fire safety enforcement notices at a rate of one a week. Martin Hilditch finds out what is going wrong

  • Danger signs


    Social landlords have improved fire safety since the Lakanal House tragedy, but there is still more work to be done

  • Social landlords handed one fire notice every week


    Social landlords are being served with an average of one enforcement notice a week by fire brigades across England.

  • Woman convicted over tower block blaze deaths


    A woman has been convicted of two counts of manslaughter after she started a fire at a block of flats which killed two women.

  • Last chance to register for safety webinar


    There is still time to register for Inside Housing’s fire and gas safety webinar, which is taking place tomorrow.

  • Register for free fire and gas safety webinar


    Inside Housing is running a free webinar on improving fire and gas safety on 29 November.

  • Blaze at tower block run by ALMO hit with fire demand


    A number of residents have been placed in temporary accommodation after fire broke out in a tower block run by an ALMO which previously had an enforcement notice issued against it.

  • In the line of fire


    Social landlords often assume they have sole responsibility for fire safety in their properties, but the legal picture is not so straightforward. Ashley Borthwick from law firm TLT explains

  • Resident critical following tower block fire


    A man is in a critical condition following a fire in a council tower block in London last night.

  • Fire safety guidelines for tower blocks released


    Landlords have been issued with a new set of guidelines to minimise the threat of fire in high-rise tower blocks.

  • Call for new law after gas death


    A coroner has called on the government to change health and safety legislation after a social housing tenant died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a newly built block of flats.

  • Fatal flaws


    Maria Ighodalo was spectacularly unlucky. The London & Quadrant tenant died in 2007 from carbon monoxide poisoning following a highly unusual chain of events.

  • Faulty towers?


    A year ago two firefighters died in a blaze in a Southampton tower block. Nick Duxbury finds out if anything more could have been done to prevent their deaths.

  • Fire safety special


    A look at how the sector is responding to the need for improved fire safety in social housing

  • In the line of fire


    Since the Lakanal House fire which killed six people, Andy Cloke has made it his business to teach landlords how to prevent tower block blazes. Kicking off our fire safety special, he tells Martin Hilditch about the challenges he faces.

  • Smoke signals


    Identifying fire risks is key to preventing tragedy. Helen Clifton finds out how one housing association is working with the fire service to keep tenants safe

  • Sounding the alarm


    New fire safety guidance is helping social landlords ensure their properties are as safe as possible. Here, Chloë Stothart finds out what they should do to minimise the risk of a blaze and how much it costs

  • Timber frame is safe


    Timber frame became the scapegoat for site fires but they are now setting the safety standards, says Andrew Carpenter

  • Council checks fridges after tower block fire


    A council is undertaking an audit to find out how many homes may have faulty fridges after a fire in a tower block was caused by one of the appliances.

  • Landlords admit high-rise fire risk


    Three quarters of housing providers do not think their tower blocks have been assessed correctly

  • The firing line


    News that social landlords do not think the fire risk assessments of their tower blocks are up to scratch should concern us all.

  • Fire safety champion to help landlords increase safety


    The government has appointed a ‘fire safety champion’ who will help landlords reduce fires in their homes.

  • Campaigns


    Inside Housing has campaigned on issues from empty homes to housing benefit. Our Safe as Houses campaign won a British Society of Magazine Editor’s award in 2010, and we also promote the importance of housing through our ongoing House Proud work with the Chartered Institute of Housing. On this page you’ll find details of all our past and current campaigns.Current campaig

  • Campaigns


    Inside Housing has campaigned on issues from empty homes to housing benefit. Our Safe as Houses campaign won a British Society of Magazine Editor’s award in 2010, and we also promote the importance of housing through our ongoing House Proud work with the Chartered Institute of Housing. On this page you’ll find details of all our past and current campaigns.Current campaig

  • Safety first


    New guidelines set out how social landlords should protect tenants living in tower blocks from fire. Martin Hilditch reports

  • Carbon monoxide death case delayed


    A plea hearing in the case of a young woman who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a shared ownership flat has been delayed.

  • Fire groups draw up new safety standard


    Fire industry groups are drawing up a new standard to rate the quality of assessors who decide whether or not tower blocks are safe to live in.

  • Broken promises on fire risk register


    Inside Housing’s excellent Safe as Houses campaign was launched as a result of the death of six people in July 2009 at Lakanal House.

  • Government acts on tower block safety


    Official guidance is being drawn up to help prevent a repeat of the Lakanal House tower block tragedy.

  • 2011 : Fix the date


    What does the year ahead hold for repairs and maintenance? Jill Dwyer presents your essential planner to an eventful 2011

  • Regulator failed to act on fire register pledge


    The Tenant Services Authority missed all three of its self-imposed deadlines to compile a fire safety register it promised to set up but later abandoned.

  • Government rejects calls to tighten up high-rise regulation


    The government has ruled out tightening building regulations for high-rise and timber frame buildings, despite a London Assembly investigation revealing a ‘crisis in confidence’ about their safety.

  • Elf risk


    Consultants might not have as much work as they are used to right now, but that has not dented their sense of humour.

  • Report calls for tougher fire rules


    Fire regulations for timber frame and high-rise buildings should be tightened urgently, a London Assembly committee has warned.

  • Deputy Labour leader backs high-rise register


    Labour party deputy leader Harriet Harman has backed Inside Housing’s pledge to create a tower block register following the social housing regulator’s decision to ditch the idea.

  • The year that changed social housing forever


    With a new government, massive reforms and brutal cuts, the past 12 months has seen unprecedented change to the social housing landscape. Inside Housing looks back at the major events of 2010

  • Lakanal relatives demand inquest date


    Barristers for the families of the people who died in a tower block fire in south London have called for an inquest date to be set.

  • Lakanal delays concern council leader


    The leader of Southwark Council has expressed concerns about the length of time being taken to investigate the fatal fire at Lakanal House last year.

  • Residents flee blaze at Southwark high rise


    Sixty people were evacuated after a fire started at a tower block near the south London high rise where six people died in a blaze last year.

  • Broken promises


    The news that the Tenant Services Authority has reneged on its pledge to compile and police a database of tower blocks to minimise the risk of fire is depressing.

  • Fire checks harmed by lack of assessors


    Landlords are struggling to find competent assessors to carry out fire risk assessments, a conference heard this week.

  • TSA breaks tower block fire safety pledge


    The Tenant Services Authority has reneged on a pledge to increase tower block safety by maintaining a register of landlords that have carried out fire risk assessments.

  • Safety campaign scoops national award


    Inside Housing’s Safe as Houses campaign has been named campaign of the year by the British Society of Magazine Editors.

  • Fire risks found in most tower blocks


    The majority of Birmingham’s 224 tower blocks are in need of work to improve their fire safety, an investigation has discovered.

  • Lakanal House inquest judge pulls out


    A high-profile judge who had been lined up to lead the inquest into the deaths of six people in a London tower block fire has pulled out.

  • Residents to move from Southwark block


    Councillors have decided tenants and leaseholders in a Southwark tower block must be moved immediately.

  • Steel answer to fire concerns


    I read with interest the story in the 25 June edition of Inside Housing about the Lakanal House fire in Camberwell.

  • Inquiry launched into Kingston fire


    An investigation has been launched into why a fire destroyed the top four stories of a council-owned block of flats in Kingston, Surrey, so quickly.

  • Fire destroys four floors of tower block


    A fire has destroyed the top four storeys of a council-owned block of flats in Kingston, as terrified residents were taken to safety.

  • Fire-ravaged tower Lakanal House will be reopened


    A south London tower block in which six people died in a fire a year ago will be brought back into use.

  • Still no answers


    A year ago, six people died in a tower block fire in south London but as their lives were commemorated last weekend, questions still remain over why they died. Emily Twinch asks why the inquest into their deaths is taking so long and if any good can come out of the tragedy

  • Turner nominee decorates Southwark tower block


    Work by a Turner Prize-nominated artist has gone up on a tower block near to a 14-storey high rise where six people died in a fire last year.

  • Block faces demolition despite fire investment


    Nottingham council is to move tenants out of a 15-storey tower block after spending a quarter of a million pounds on fire safety at the building.

  • Fire authorities ‘complacent’ before Lakanal blaze


    Fire authorities were complacent about policing social housing before a fatal blaze last year, a senior fire safety manager has said.

  • CLG fails fire risk assessment test


    Fire chiefs have slapped a fire safety enforcement notice on the very government officials who have been demanding that councils improve the safety of tower blocks.

  • Southwark revamp in response to fatal blaze


    Southwark Council is to separate its joint housing and environment department after a fatal tower block fire raised management concerns.

  • Repairs body to produce fire guidance


    Social housing maintenance providers will be issued with detailed fire safety guidance, following Inside Housing’s Safe as Houses campaign.

  • Police delays hold up Lakanal inquest


    Harriet Harman has hit out at delays to the inquest into the death of six people in a tower-block fire after it emerged police investigations will not be complete until September.

  • Tenants move back after fire


    Residents of a tower block where two firemen died in a blaze last week are set to move back into their homes over the next few days.

  • Lib Dem MP calls for more generous way of funding housing


    Simon Hughes, MP for North Southwark and Bermondsey, has called on whichever party forms the new government in May to introduce a ‘much more open, honest and generous way of funding housing.’

  • Lambeth issues fire risk assessments


    Arm’s-length management organisation Lambeth Living has published fire-risk assessments for its high rise blocks with more than 10 storeys.

  • Government grants final campaign demand


    The government is to change building regulations to require carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in all new homes with solid fuel heating systems.

  • Sound the alarm


    Inside Housing’s Safe as Houses campaign achieved another notable success this week when the government announced changes to protect residents from carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Better safe than sorry


    As Inside Housing’s Safe as Houses campaign reaches its climax, Emily Twinch salutes the manner in which the sector has pledged to follow up its key aims

  • Safety campaign reaches Downing Street


    Inside Housing has handed a petition with the names of 100 landlords to Gordon Brown calling for safer social homes.

  • Council to buy out Lakanal leaseholders


    Southwark council has authorised the buy back of leaseholder homes in its tower block where six people died in a fire last year.

  • Lord leads fight for tower block sprinklers


    A member of the House of Lords is hoping to push through a bill to ensure sprinklers are fitted to buildings less than 30 metres high

  • Southwark fire risk assessors lacked adequate training


    A leaked email from a London fire chief has revealed housing officers in Southwark who conducted fire risk checks on tower blocks had not received appropriate training.

  • London Assembly orders fire safety investigation


    The London Assembly has ordered its planning and housing committee to investigate fire safety in buildings in the capital.

  • Southwark commissions fresh fire risk checks


    The London borough where six people died in a tower block blaze has brought in external assessors to conduct in depth risk assessments of the fire risk in all its high rise blocks.

  • Third Southwark blaze


    One hundred and fifty Southwark residents were evacuated from their homes this week following a third major blaze in the borough in just over seven months

  • Tower block register to assess fire risk


    The Tenants Services Authority has set out its detailed plans for a national register of social housing tower blocks in England.

  • Fire safety campaigner claims council gagged her


    A resident campaigning for tower block fire safety following the Lakanal House tragedy claims her local authority has gagged her.

  • Cheer up!'ve already had the hangover


    You may prefer to forget a lot of what happened in 2009 but for the masochists among you, here’s a reminder of the year’s highs and lows. Caroline Thorpe reports

  • MP lambasts delays to Lakanal inquest


    Camberwell and Peckham MP Harriet Harman has hit out at delays to the inquest into the deaths of six people in the Lakanal House tower block fire in her constituency.

  • Fire-ravaged Peckham site had no watchman


    The Peckham building site where a huge fire began in a timber frame housing development did not have a night watchman, breaching industry guidelines.

  • Subsidy shake up revealed in February


    Councils will be told the terms on which they can leave the current housing subsidy system in February next year.

  • Finished timber block burnt down in 2007


    A block of completed council flats which had to be demolished after a fire was built from timber frame, it has emerged.

  • Leaseholders to bear full cost of fire safety work


    Southwark leaseholders are to bear the full cost of fire safety improvements after a tribunal ruled in favour of the council.

  • April report warned of timber build fire risks


    A controversial report from a government advisory body has expressed concern about the use of timber framed buildings in social housing.

  • L&Q helps re-house blaze victims


    Housing associations and private landlords have joined forces with Southwark Council after a second major fire in the borough in six months left 28 families homeless.

  • We need timber frame answers


    Timber frame is used to build a fifth of new homes in England and almost three quarters in Scotland.

  • Liverpool Mutual Homes backs safety campaign


    The entire executive and senior management team of Liverpool Mutual Homes have signed up to Inside Housing’s Safe as Houses Campaign.

  • One down, two to go


    Residents of England’s thousands of high-rise blocks will soon be able to sleep easier in their beds. The Tenant Services Authority this week moved to meet one of the demands of Inside Housing’s Safe as houses campaign.

  • TSA grants high-rise demand


    Housing regulator the Tenant Services Authority has backed one of the key demands of Inside Housing’s Safe as Houses campaign.

  • Peckham fire drives 200 from their homes


    Around 200 people have been evacuated after a fire in two blocks of flats in south London.

  • MPs’ support for campaign


    A high-profile MP has launched a parliamentary motion in support of Inside Housing’s Safe as Houses campaign. Karen Buck, Labour MP for Regent’s Park & Kensington North and a well-known campaigner on housing issues, has called for the government to work with housing associations and builders to achieve the campaign’s aims.

  • Leaseholders dispute fire safety charges


    Leaseholders from a Southwark tower block have made a bid to challenge bills for work being done on their building.

  • Hidden danger


    A year ago the Health and Safety Executive warned that 1,200 homes with concealed flue boiler systems could be ‘immediately dangerous’. Martin Hilditch charts the action taken by developers since then to deal with this unseen threat

  • Quick exit


    Decanting residents from their homes normally takes months to plan. But when a 1960s tower block was found to be a fire risk in July this year, Calderdale Council got them out within days. Mark Thompson, head of housing and the environment at the council, explains how

  • Three arrests after mother dies in firework blaze


    Police have arrested three people as they investigate murder after a woman died in a fire at her Cornwall council home.

  • Harman backs our safety campaign


    Leader of the Commons and Camberwell MP says demanded changes would improve tenants’ lives

  • Meet our backers


    Support for our Safe as Houses campaign to stop preventable deaths from gas or fire is growing daily. Once 100 landlords have backed us, Inside Housing will take the campaign demands to 10 Downing Street. Here are 50 key figures who have already signed up. Join them at

  • Check gas appliances, safety executive warns landlords


    The Health and Safety Executive has warned landlords to protect tenants from carbon monoxide poisoning by checking their gas appliances.

  • Fire assessments find Southwark blocks lack escape routes


    Risk assessments on three Southwark tower blocks have found residents have no reasonable means of escape in a fire.

  • Failure to assess fire risk cost council £5,728


    Lancaster Council has been fined £3,000 for failing to carry out a proper fire risk assessment on one of its properties.

  • Safety in numbers


    Last week Inside Housing revealed fire authorities’ frantic action to assess tower blocks following the fatal blaze at Lakanal House. Now, continuing our Safe as Houses campaign, Emily Twinch uses a new set of freedom of information requests to probe the steps taken by councils before and after the tragedy

  • Flammable ceilings found in Southwark tower


    Ceilings in fire escape corridors in a Southwark tower block appeared to be made with flammable materials, according to details of an enforcement notice which have just been released.

  • Extinguish fire risks


    Following the Lakanal House fire, landlords should ask themselves some key safety questions

  • Fire services step up audits


    A senior London fire officer has vowed the brigade will search social landlords’ ‘darkest corners’ in a bid to improve fire safety in tower blocks.

  • Playing with fire


    We are now in the fourth week of our Safe as Houses campaign and, to date, 188 people have signed our petition calling for three key changes to help stop preventable deaths from fire and carbon monoxide.

  • Revealed: the fire safety frenzy after Lakanal


    As Inside Housing’s Safe as Houses campaign gains momentum, Emily Twinch investigates the impact on fire authorities of the fatal blaze at Lakanal House. Using freedom of information laws she uncovers the low priority often given to high-rise fire safety before the tragedy, and the frantic action taken by authorities since

  • Residents complain after fire safety clear out


    Residents of tower blocks in Lambeth have complained their belongings were thrown away after housing officers removed items from corridors to improve fire safety.

  • ‘No one should go through this’


    Elouise Littlewood was just 26 when she died of carbon monoxide poisoning in her new build home. Martin Hilditch talks to her parents about her death and the legacy they hope it will leave

  • Southwark’s fire assessment spree after Lakanal blaze


    Southwark Council signed off more than 100 fire risk assessments on its tower blocks within a fortnight of a blaze that killed six people.

  • U-turn as Southwark releases fire risk assessments


    Southwark Council has U-turned on a refusal to release information about fire risk assessments on its tower blocks.

  • ‘I was emotional. Everyone was’


    This weekend marks three months since fire claimed six lives at Lakanal House in Southwark. Continuing Inside Housing’s Safe as Houses campaign, Emily Twinch tells the stories of that terrible night and looks to the future

  • Southwark granted more time for fire safety work


    Southwark Council has been handed a two-month extension to compulsory work it is carrying out to make three of its tower blocks fully fire resistant.

  • Fire brigade defends actions against Southwark


    The London Fire Brigade has launched a robust defence of its actions after Southwark Council criticised the way it issued fire enforcement notices on three tower blocks.

  • Fire safety notices served on ALMO


    Southwark Council was not the only landlord served with fire safety enforcement notices in the month following the fatal Lakanal House tower block fire, Inside Housing has learned.

  • Give us your support


    Safe as houses is an idiom with which we are all familiar - and for most social housing professionals and their residents it rings true.

  • They thought they were safe


    These people died in the place they should have been most secure - their own homes. In a bid to stop similar preventable deaths from gas or fire, Inside Housing this week launches its Safe as Houses campaign - and we need your support. Martin Hilditch and Emily Twinch report

  • Shipman judge to lead Lakanal House inquest


    The judge who led the inquests into those murdered by Dr Harold Shipman will head the proceedings for the people killed in a south London tower block.

  • Southwark 'reverses' policy to appoint housing boss


    Southwark council is advertising for a £90,000 head of housing, two years after it merged the department.

  • Fire hazards found in Southwark tower blocks


    Southwark Council failed to carry out suitable fire risk assessments on three tower blocks, according to enforcement notices released by fire safety chiefs.

  • Only as good as his tools


    Two-star status no longer guarantees immediate decent homes funding. So can round six ALMOs keep their refurbishment promises? Isabel Hardman reports.

  • Lakanal neighbours alarmed by short notice work


    Southwark Council’s head of housing management has been forced to apologise to residents and delay work to a tower block after sending out a letter she admits may have caused ‘unnecessary concern’.

  • Fresh high-rise fire scare


    A council has become the first to exercise emergency powers to close a tower block as providers were warned to check the fire safety implications of refurbishment work.

  • Leaseholders fear safety bills in wake of fatal fire


    Leaseholders in a neighbouring building to a tower block where six people died fear they could be landed with huge bills for fire safety work.

  • Regulator issues fresh advice on fire risk


    The social housing regulator has issued further advice on carrying out fire risk assessments, following a fatal blaze at a south London tower block in July.

  • ‘I don’t want my mum to die in vain’


    More questions have been raised over health and safety practices in high rise housing blocks after a woman was crushed to death by a lift. Emily Twinch reports

  • Lakanal residents will not return home


    Residents of a tower block in which six people died in a tragic blaze last month will never move back into their homes.

  • Fire chief: make alarms compulsory


    The government should consider making all social landlords fit battery-operated smoke detectors in each of their high-rise homes, England’s chief fire officer has warned.

  • Learning the hard way


    It has been a week to forget for social landlords which own high-rise blocks. The past seven days have seen two deaths and the publication of the initial report into the fire at Lakanal House in Southwark, London on 3 July which killed six people.

  • Council tower blocks a risk, says fire authority


    Southwark Council has been issued with three enforcement notices by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, as part of an ongoing investigation into a fire that killed six residents of a tower block.

  • Government expert reports on tower block blaze


    Sir Ken Knight says tenants need more information on fire safety

  • MP pushes for fire super-inquest


    Harriet Harman MP has called for a ‘super inquest’ into the deaths of those killed in a tower block fire in London.

  • Tenant safety fears soar after fatal fire


    Worried tower block tenants have been contacting their landlords with safety concerns after a fire that killed six people in Camberwell.

  • Fire death tower block had been identified as a risk


    The design of a Southwark tower block where there was a fatal fire earlier this month was identified as being a risk nearly ten years ago.

  • Fire doors are all important


    The terrible tragedy of the fire at Lakanal House in Camberwell has once again highlighted the importance of fire doors and their role in containing the spread of fire and allowing people to escape.

  • Fire deaths prompt tower block survey


    The Tenant Services Authority has written to housing associations asking how many blocks they have similar to the one in London where six people died this month.

  • ‘Why, why, why?’


    One councillor’s searching question summed up the mood in the aftermath of last week’s fatal tower block fire. How did it spread so quickly, and what can landlords do to prevent such a devastating blaze happening again? Emily Twinch reports

  • Fire risk design warning prompts Nationwide checks


    Landlords across the UK are reviewing tower block safety after the government warned that a common building design may help fires spread more quickly.

  • Weaknesses found in fire death tower block


    The London tower block where six people were killed in a fire earlier this month has a design weakness which could allow fires to spread, the government has warned.

  • Fatal blaze prompts plea to councils


    The government has asked landlords to contact tenants living in tower blocks to provide reassurance and remind them of fire safety measures, following a blaze in London which killed six people.

  • Tragic blaze holds lessons for all


    Most landlords’ immediate reaction to the horrific fire which claimed six lives when it engulfed flats in a tower block in Camberwell, south London, last Friday will, rightly, be to check their own stock is in order.

  • Council backs calls for fire inquiry


    Southwark council has backed calls for a public inquiry into a fire at a tower block that killed six people.

  • Tower deaths prompt calls for fire safety inquiry


    Leader of the House of Commons Harriet Harman has called for an inquiry into fire safety in high rise buildings after six people died in a blaze at a London tower block.

  • Six die in fire at council tower block


    Six people died after a fire spread through a London council tower block on Friday evening.

  • Poor gas servicing putting tenants at risk


    Social landlords are failing their tenants by not protecting them from potentially dangerous gas systems.

  • Buy us out, demand gas estate residents


    Fifty residents of a housing estate that has been plagued by horrendous problems, including the carbon monoxide poisoning of two people, have demanded their money back.

  • Tempers flair over ‘Death Towers’ investigation


    Angry residents of the Bedfont Lakes estate were given assurances at a heated meeting on Monday evening that extensive investigations were being carried out into the carbon monoxide leak that poisoned two of its residents, leaving one dead and the other in a coma.

  • Take the lead on gas safety


    Two deaths and a man in a 15-month coma due to carbon monoxide poisoning – these are statistics that cast a shadow over social housing.

  • L&Q tenant killed by carbon monoxide


    A housing association tenant died of carbon monoxide poisoning three months before a similar death in a flat with the same type of heating system prompted a national health and safety warning.

  • Residents’ anger set to force sub-let U-turn


    Notting Hill considers allowing shared owners to escape troubled development by sub-letting their homes

  • Treatment of gas tenants ‘a shambles’


    Residents on an estate where a young woman died of carbon monoxide poisoning have been ‘mistreated’, an MP has claimed.

  • Gas death estate still without heat


    Residents of an estate where a young woman died from carbon monoxide poisoning are still living without a gas supply, a year after her death.

  • Fatal gas heating an added eco-measure


    A development in which a young woman died of carbon monoxide poisoning was originally not meant to have a gas heating system at all, Inside Housing has learned.

  • ‘We feel so unsafe’ say residents of gas danger estate


    On February 27 this year Elouise Littlewood died in the place she should have been the safest – her new home.

  • Order to turn boilers off


    Residents of a west London development where a young woman died of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning have been instructed to switch off their boilers to allow an inspection of their heating system.

  • Immediate gas threat to lives


    Thousands of people could be living in homes that pose an immediate threat to their lives, the Health & Safety Executive revealed this week.

  • Watchdog’s GB-wide gas safety warning


    Developers, landlords and residents across Britain have been warned to check the safety of their homes, following the death of a woman from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • HSE issues gas safety alert


    The government’s safety watchdog has issued an alert about a potential carbon monoxide poisoning risk from gas central heating systems.

  • Death prompts safety checks by builder


    One of the country’s most prolific house builders has stepped in to ensure residents are safe in three of its major developments, following the death of a woman from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Man bailed in connection with gas death


    A man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter following the death of a woman in a housing association flat has been released on bail.

  • Police investigate association gas death


    Manslaughter probe after tragedy at Notting Hill Housing property

  • Commission reports fan flames over landlords' gas servicing


    Last week Audit Commission inspection reports revealed poor management of gas servicing within two housing associations. Experts now point to a sector-wide danger.

  • Deaths due to neglect


    A couple died of carbon monoxide poisoning linked to a leaking boiler which had not been checked, a coroner has said.Alison Thompson of West London Coroner’s Court recorded a verdict of accidental death which was contributed to by neglect caused by an

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