The London Fire Brigade has held a seminar for over 70 representatives from different faith groups in Southwark and Lewisham on fire safety in buildings used as places of worship.
The Brigade is working with different faith groups to raise awareness of the safety risks and implications of holding meetings and gatherings of large numbers of people in buildings that were not built for that purpose – the Brigade say this can present a fire safety risk to the people attending if a proper risk assessment has not been carried out.
London Assembly Member and Chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority Valerie Shawcross said it was “vitally important that the organisers and leaders of faith groups know how they can make sure the buildings they are using as places of worship are safe from the risk of fire.”
“This first seminar is the beginning of a much wider campaign to engage with faith groups across London and raise greater awareness of fire safety and how our fire safety inspectors can help.”
Officials warn that if a building does not have suitable fire safety measures in place for the number of people who are using it those responsible could be prosecuted .
Anyone who attends faith group meetings in Southwark or Lewisham who would like more information about fire safety can contact their local Fire Brigade borough team on 020 7587 4975 (Southwark) or 020 7587 2500 (Lambeth).