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Fire Fears Force Council To Hire Safety Inspectors

A 10-year campaign by a council tenant who believes inadequate fire safety regulations are putting hundreds of lives at risk has forced council officers to commission an independent enquiry.

A 10-year campaign by a council tenant who believes inadequate fire safety regulations are putting hundreds of lives at risk has forced council officers to commission an independent enquiry.

Garry Dixon, who lives in The Pavilions complex in Uxbridge, has led the Fairlie House Action for Safety group in a campaign against The Pavilions owners Prudential Insurance and Hillingdon Council.

In response to Mr Dixon's relentless campaign to improve safety standards in The Pavilions two residential blocks, Hillingdon Council's Uxbridge area housing manager Huw Thomas has commissioned the audit to investigate.

Mr Dixon said it was about time steps were taken to address his concerns because, he says, until now he has been largely ignored by council officers.

'It is frustrating having council officers refusing to answer my questions over such a long period of time. It is also especially worrying when they concern serious safety issues,' he said.

Mr Dixon believes there are a number of breaches of fire safety regulations for a mixed use building complex such as The Pavilions.

He is primarily concerned with fire escape routes which he says are not accessible and do not allow for a quick exit for residents.

'Our allegations of breaches of fire safety regulations are on the record, so who will be held responsible if harm is caused due to the alleged breaches and what would the charges against these people be?' he said.

Mr Dixon has received letters from fire safety officers in the past, supporting his claim of a breach of regulations.

Mr Thomas said the council was satisfied that the fire escape routes in The Pavilions were adequate and met all current regulations. He said considerable time and money had been spent over many years in addressing the concerns of a small number of residents who refused to accept this.

'The council has therefore appointed specialists, qualified in fire protection, to carry out an independent audit of the blocks during October,' he said.

He said the purpose of the audit was to reassure residents there was no deficiency in fire protection measures in the Uxbridge town centre and any issues arising from the audit would be properly addressed by the council.

He expects the findings of the audit to be released next month.



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