Every tower block to have fire safety checks across Brighton and Hove

Posted On 20 Jun 2017 at 1:18 am

Every tower block is to have a fire safety check across the area, Brighton and Hove City Council said last night (Monday 19 June).

The council also vowed to double-check its own 43 high-rise blocks of flats to reassure residents after the Grenfell Tower fire last week.

It will start with the 23 which have some form of cladding, given the suspicion that the cladding on Grenfell Tower may have worsened the blaze.

The news came as the Metropolitan Police said that the number of dead and missing presumed dead had risen to 79 in the London fire.

The council said: “We are now conducting joint inspections with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) of our high-rise blocks, prioritising all those with cladding.

“The council is also commissioning an independent survey to double-check our buildings so we can provide tenants with extra assurance.

“We will continue to work with ESFRS on reviewing our policies, practices and property in light of any information and learning from the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

“As of Friday 16 June, the council has taken a number of actions to reassure concerned local residents that our highest priority always has been and always will be their safety.

“A text message was sent to tenants of high-rise council housing with cladding and council housing staff have personally hand-delivered an information letter to tenants and leaseholders living in those buildings.”

The council said: “Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower last Wednesday (14 June) our thoughts continue to be with all those affected.

“As of Monday 19 June, the council has taken a number of actions to reassure concerned local residents that our highest priority always has been and always will be their safety.

“The Housing Fire Health and Safety Board, which is made up senior housing officers and fire officers, met the morning after the fire. The group met again on Friday and will continue to meet moving forward.

“On Friday a text message was sent to tenants of high-rise council housing with cladding and council housing staff personally hand-delivered an information letter to tenants and leaseholders living in those buildings.

“Over the coming weeks we’ll be working with tenants’ and residents’ associations to keep everyone regularly informed and updated.

“We work closely with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and all council-owned high rise blocks of flats are inspected every year to ensure they meet current safety standards.

“All our high-rise properties were inspected in 2016 and we have already completed seven (inspections) this year.

“There are 43 council high rise blocks of flats in the city, 20 of these have full cladding.

“We have already started the process of conducting additional precautionary fire safety assessments on our high-rise buildings and shortly we’ll be conducting detailed and independent surveys of all high-rise properties, prioritising those with cladding first.

“We will then decide if specific actions need to be taken.

“Together with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, we’ll be monitoring closely all information on the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

“Over the coming days, weeks and months, we will continuously review our own properties and practices in light of the outcomes of the investigation, official government advice and the public inquiry called by the Prime Minister.

“The council is co-operating fully with the UK government as part of this nationwide inquiry.

“We have produced an FAQ (frequently asked questions factsheet) based on common questions asked by our tenants and we will continue to regularly update it as new information becomes available and new questions are asked.

“You can read and share our FAQ here www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/fire-safety-faqs.”

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