Posted on January 3, 2019
It follows serious fire safety concerns raised by MPs, who it is understood are tabling an urgent question for the Defence Secretary to answer when parliament returns on Monday. In an annual report published by the Defence Safety Authority (DSA) in October 2018, Lieutenant General Richard Felton concluded that there was what is known as a “Limited Safety Assurance”, which Lt Gen Felton said “should not be accepted as being good enough”. From April 2017 to March 2018 there were 373 reported fires including two “notable fires”, one at Aliwal Barracks at Tidworth in Wiltshire and Theipval Barracks at Lisburn in Northern Ireland. The DSA report summarised that there is “a fundamental lack of clarity and understanding of the roles and responsibilities of all parties in the management of fire safety across defence” and that until “major weaknesses” are addressed, “the likelihood of a fire resulting in significant loss of life… will remain high”. The MOD says the Defence Fire Management and Risk Organisation regularly inspects all MOD buildings for fire safety standards and that it has 50 qualified fire safety practitioners to advise on fire safety.