§ Mr. Magnay
asked the Minister of Supply (1) whether he will instruct the director of factory production to request the insurance companies to allow their competent trained surveyers immediately to examine all factories to see what is required to limit the risk of loss by fire, and report to him, so that heavy loss may be reduced, the machinery saved, and production of output thus maintained;
(2) whether he is aware that fires in factories are usually caused by faults in old heating and lighting plants, such as stoves or electric lighting liable to fuse, as well as carelessness in leaving waste material lying about; and what steps are being taken to minimise these risks in the many factories working overtime where it may be expected that tired workers may fail to take adequate precautions?
§ Mr. Assheton
I have been asked to reply. The Factory Department has no evidence that factory fires are usually due to the causes mentioned by my hon. Friend. I am advised that, while the main precautions are independent of the day-to-day conduct of the workpeople, factory managements are generally alive to the danger from accumulations of oily waste and other refuse, and receive advice, not only from the Factory Inspectors, but also from the Fire Insurance Offices, whose practice it is to carry out surveys at the factories of policy holders and make recommendations of detailed precautions for reducing the risk of loss or damage. In the circumstances, further action on the lines suggested does not appear to be necessary.