Click here or on the picture for the LACORS guidance.
LACoRS, the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services, is a protocol between local housing authorities and fire and rescue authorities to improve fire safety
This protocol establishes the principles and describes the joint working arrangements between local housing authorities and fire and rescue authorities to deliver the objective of improved fire safety. It is a framework which provides the basis for detailed local arrangements while encouraging collaboration at a regional level.
The introduction of the Housing Act 2004 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 has imposed an analogous duty on two statutory authorities to enforce certain fire safety provisions within such housing.
To promote the efficient use of resources, this protocol will identify discrete areas of inspection and enforcement and appropriate review and monitoring arrangements, and provide for urgent or complex requests for assistance from either party.
It seeks to provide all parties, as far as is reasonably practical, with a measure of confidence that they are discharging their respective duties under legislation.
Fire and rescue authorities have a legal duty to enforce the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order in the common areas of all residential accommodation not forming a single private dwelling. They acknowledge that the fire safety standards required by local housing authorities under the Housing Act 2004 will, in other than exceptional cases, achieve a similar level of fire safety for relevant persons as required under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.
Conversely, local housing authorities are responsible for implementing the various licensing requirements of the Housing Act 2004 and utilising the Housing Health and Safety Rating System to identify and, if necessary, act upon significant hazards found within all housing.
They acknowledge that fire and rescue authorities will monitor and enforce fire safety standards in areas where they have legislative control, to a similar standard, in premises identified in section 3 of this protocol. Fire and rescue authorities undertake to inform local housing authorities of any serious non-fire matters that they encounter and identify.
Both authorities utilise a risk based enforcement approach and it is recognised that some housing providers, such as owners, landlords or managing agents, may not have sufficient competencies to undertake such risk assessments.
In general, local housing authorities undertake a risk assessment utilising the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, while fire and rescue authorities expect the responsible person, usually the housing provider, to undertake a risk assessment.
These collaborative working arrangements, which support the Government’s broader agenda for partnership working, will enable both authorities to promote fire and certain other safety provisions within a broader range of premises than would have been possible if they had acted independently or undertaken joint inspections.
Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service, the district councils in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Council have all signed up to this protocol.
The LACoRS guidance can be accessed here.