The gold-plating of these measures by fire services and others have imposed ridiculous costs on third sector organisations, which can only weaken community institutions – which will be all the more important given the parlous economic conditions.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and consequent regulations, has imposed huge costs and limitations on churches and other community organisations. Halls and other venues have had their capacity limited – reducing letting income, and ticket sales for concerts etc. Owners have had to spend huge sums on complex safety equipment – and local fire authorities have required organisations to send representatives on expensive training courses. This is all disproportionate – when did anyone ever hear of people being hurt or worse by a fire in such a building?