Overall, the Guidance was well received by organisations and individuals that responded to the consultation. Many comments sought further clarification on housing types in scope and to simplify the perceived technical language. Various ideas were forwarded for the dissemination of the Guidance, including making it available to social landlords and for the Fire and Rescue Service to distribute it.
In terms of impact, safety benefits featured prominently. Furthermore, potential financial benefits were attributed to increased fire safety and reduced numbers of fire incidents such as decreased repair costs or lower insurance premiums.. Additional costs are envisaged, related to the carrying out of assessments, possibly by an external expert due to the competent person requirement, particularly in relation to premises based fire safety risk assessments. In addition, potential refurbishment of dwellings may be needed, for instance to store mobility scooters, and a review of housing management procedures could drive improvements.
Few respondents could give further information on the number of people and premises affected by the Guidance. Nevertheless, the information provided reflected a considerable number of premises (ranging from 3 to 5,000) and people (ranging from 70 to 8,000). Similarly, few could advise how many premises already have adequate fire safety measures, taking account of the Guidance. The fact that many respondents are not housing providers may be an explanation for the low response rate overall. For instance, 5/6 housing associations were able to provide related information as were both care providers, the independent/private sector housing provider and 3/8 local authority housing providers.
The person-based and premises-based approaches were seen as helpful by the respondents, as were the Appendices. Two respondents indicated their intention to carry out the person-based risk assessment. As not every person living in Specialised Housing may need a person-centred risk assessment and additional measures, it is not possible to predict exactly how many people this would affect.