RoSPA fears that the Government’s Building Safety Bill is a missed opportunity in its current form. The cost of missing this opportunity will be people’s lives. While RoSPA fully supports the measures that are being implemented on fire safety, there are other, more lethal aspects of building safety that are being completely overlooked.
Crucially, death by falling on the stairs is a hidden killer that often goes unnoticed, but claims the lives of at least 700 people every year. For every one hospital admission caused by a burn, there are 235 caused by falls.
This is why RoSPA is campaigning for the Building Safety Bill to enshrine the most up to date standard for stair design into law. Fortunately, there is already an existing British Standard which leads to 60 per cent fewer falls. This is a tried and tested, industry approved framework, it’s just never been enshrined into law. All it would take is a simple amendment to the Bill to make the standard a legal requirement and in doing so save countless lives.
The Building Safety Bill is a landmark piece of legislation, rightfully bringing building standards into the 21st Century. The Grenfell Tower tragedy must be a watershed moment in the history of safety in the home, but it should also make us question and then improve all aspects of building safety, beyond the risk presented by fire alone. No one should be unsafe and at risk of death in their own homes, regardless of the cause.
Video: Paul Maynard MP, (Blackpool North and Cleveleys) speaking in the House of Commons in support of RoSPA’s safer stairs campaign – (Wednesday, July 21 2021)