Fire safety in flats
The safety and wellbeing of residents is and always will be our top priority.
On the 14th June 2017, during the early hours of the morning, a fire spread through Grenfell Tower in West London, killing 72 people. It was a national tragedy and it sparked a public inquiry into the cause of the fire.
The fire started in a kitchen and soon spread to the tower-block's exterior cladding. From there it quickly spread to other parts of parts of the building, engulfing most of the block in flames. This happened because, in the case of Grenfell Tower, the cladding was made of an aluminium composite material which did not conform to building regulations and should not have been installed when Grenfell was refurbished.
In 2018, we embarked on a city-wide infrastructure programme, whereby we're carrying out major fire safety improvements to all our flatted estates. This programme will see the replacement of electric supplies, refuse chutes, waste pipes, as well as communal fire doors and closers. These improvements, totalling over £47 million, stand to improve the safety and wellbeing of residents for many years to come.
We have already sealed any small gaps in properties that might compromise their fire and smoke resistance in the event of a fire and we have begun to carry out upgrades to individual flats. Once we have finished improving our tower-blocks, we'll move onto the medium and low-rise blocks where we'll be carrying out similar improvements.
If there's a fire inside your flat...
If there is a fire inside your flat, leave the flat as quickly and as safely as possible. Once outside, ring 999 and alert the emergency services. If you can't get out, close all doors and go to the balcony or window - attract attention by shouting, waving a cloth, or in any way you can. Don’t jump – wait to be rescued. Never go back for personal possessions.
If a fire breaks out in another flat or the communal area...
If a fire breaks out anywhere else in the building, you should stay put. This advice is supported by West Midlands Fire Service. Each flat within our tower-blocks is essentially a 'fire-proof box' designed to keep fire and smoke contained. All front doors to flats are rated FD30, meaning they can withstand fire and smoke for at least 30 minutes. The flats are specially designed this way to enable the fire service enough time to get out there and deal with the fire before it has time to spread to any other flats.
It’s important that you know what to do if there is a fire in your block and how you can help keep your block safe.
Stay safe, stay put:
Remember, you should always try to evacuate if you feel at risk due to the proximity of the fire and call 999 immediately. If you are unable to evacuate, then we advise tenants to follow the “stay safe, stay put” guidance.
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- Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 October 2019 13:26