Update on fire safety

Our thoughts are with those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. Your safety continues to be our top priority and we work closely with the Fire Brigade and other authorities, including local councils’ Building Control teams, to ensure that we operate to the required standards when assessing, improving and managing our buildings.

Immediately following the Grenfell Tower fire, we set up a dedicated fire safety review working group to respond to concerns and queries following the tragic incident. It has been drawn from specialists in the organisation’s Asset Management, Development, Housing, Service Delivery, Care & Support and Health & Safety, and Communications teams. The group is complying with all requests for information from the Government, regulator and other relevant authorities, as well as responding to enquiries from residents.

At the time of writing here are details of action we have taken following the Grenfell Tower fire:

  • We are carrying out a review of our multi-storey properties, starting with the highest and prioritising buildings with cladding.
  • We have written to residents living in high-rise buildings to explain how we manage fire safety where they live.
  • We employ independent fire safety consultants to carry out fire risk assessments (FRAs) on our buildings. As a precautionary measure we are reviewing all of those assessments.
  • In instances where we have identified any issues, we have put additional fire safety measures in place and notified the residents affected in writing.
  • To date we have not identified aluminium composite material (or ACM, the type reported to have been used at Grenfell Tower), on any of our high-rise buildings which are greater than 18m in height.

Here are some of the things you can do to play your part in fire safety:

  • Keep all communal areas, such as walkways and stairs, completely free of any personal items.
  • Put all rubbish in dedicated refuse areas, rather than leaving it in communal areas.
  • Test smoke alarms in your home once a month.
  • Make sure you know what to do in the event of a fire and, if relevant, check the fire safety notice displayed in your building. The advice for the vast majority of blocks of flats is to ‘stay put’, as homes are designed to prevent fire spreading quickly.
  • If you have a balcony, any items you store on it must be fireproof. That means that barbecues and any kind of fuel or gas is prohibited.
  • Report any fire safety concerns you might have, such as problems with fire doors or accumulating rubbish.

You can find out more about fire safety in our fire safety leaflet or on your local fire brigade’s website.