The crackdown has led to 47 property owners being handed enforcement notices. The councilors on the fire authority have now decided to use £60,000 from reserves last year to launch the very serious investigation, with the project running until July of this year(2017). So far 234 homes have been identified as being ‘at risk’ of fire, this is also including 157 flats above retail units or above other businesses.
The clampdown started in August last year (2016), with the councilors severely criticizing the landlords for having “little regard” for the tenants. Fire authority chairman Councillor Derek Prodger said: “I support anything that saves people’s lives and makes properties safer, clearly it was a good idea to invest this money.
“Our firefighters do such a rigorous job in fire prevention, but we’ve got to keep on top of it.”
Councillor Richard Udall, who leads the Labour group on the authority, has came up with the budget amendment to spend the money.
He said: “Clearly this project may have saved lives – it may have prevented fires and helped us avoid serious risks and injuries.
“Worcester has a lot of HMO properties, many haven’t been licensed and a few absentee landlords have little regard for tenants’ safety.
“We simply want to protect lives and prevent a disaster.
“Too frequently the fire service has found inadequate fire detection systems and blocked or obstructed fire exists.”