Death in Ealing 10


I was trying to register to vote at our new address today, but Ealing Borough Council’s website was down. So I telephoned them and got a recorded message saying they had been “forced to evacuate the building.” Presumably more than just a fire drill if the webiste is down.

Anyway, I was googling local news to see if I could find out why, and perhaps get a clue when they might reopen. I was saddened to come across this item

http://www.ealinggazette.co.uk/ealing-news/local-ealing-news/2009/05/15/horror-as-man-dies-in-fire-64767-23633555/

It seems someone was killed on this street – indeed very close to us – on the same day Cameron was born, which is a sad thought.

But like the neighbours quoted in the article, I had myself genuinely been puzzled by the higgledy-piggeldy conversions into flats of several houses on this street. Are there national standards on provision of fire escapes, or is it up to the local authority?


10 thoughts on “Death in Ealing

  • eddie

    Craig

    Any house of three stories or more that is multi-occupied (i.e. contains 5 or more people living in more than one household) should come under the local authority’s HMO licensing scheme. So Ealing should have registered the property and inspected it for fire safety etc. See link below. They also have discretionary powers to licence other properties if there is a particular problem in an area due to poor management, transient populations etc.

    http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/rentingandletting/privaterenting/housesmultiple/

  • Johan van Rooyen

    Craig,

    Since “Troughing Toffs Sack The Pleb” I’ve received no further updates via your RSS feed. Are you aware of any problems – prehaps I’ve accidentally malconfigured Google Reader my end.

    Thanks and sorry to be off-topic again!

  • Sam Hardy

    I’m in one little house in a Victorian terrace; but my place has been butchered into eleven studios. (Sadly, the no-longer-continuous cornices run along some of the walls to remind me of what once was (and the poor work means they don’t even abut the new paper-thin partition walls).)

    I have a smoke alarm, but I don’t have anything else. The lights on the stairs only turn on from two places, so I have to stumble down the stairs in the pitch dark in order to turn the light on. I’d rather not think how our house would fare in a fire.

  • chris

    When someone is converting a house into flats they needs to get approval from the council’s building control before they can use the conversion. This requires them to prove that they meet with the building regulations. In these regulation they will set out how many escape you require given the number of flats and occupants.

    The problem is when a dodgy landlord doesn’t do this and just converts them without telling the council. Nine times out of ten they will not meet the basic fire regulations. Other instances occur when a landlord lets more people than they are allowed live in the flat by the council. In the south side of Glasgow there was an influx of Eastern europeans who didn’t have much money and scummy landlords were allowing up to 12 people to live in a two bedroom flat. I saw a picture of a flat down the road from where i lived that had the toilet right next to the cooker in the kitchen of a flat!!! It was disgusting but these landlords were getting away with it because the council didn’t know, or chose to ignore it.

  • chris

    Forgot to say the building regulations are set by the government and enforced by the council.

  • samarkeolog

    Well, I know the neighbours in the “room” “next door” (I lose two corners of my box room, one to my own shower, and one to theirs) are taking it in shifts, though I’m not sure how many people live there (but as I can here them going out and coming home in ones or twos, chatting, showering, etc., day and night, I have a fair idea of their schedule). I’m not sure about the other rooms.

    I think the only fire escape in this house is the front door. (I think the back door is the lucky ground floor back room tenant’s private exit to the garden.) I guess I could jump out of my window and aim for the recycling box. It’s only twenty-five feet.

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