H&F Council Reassures Residents about Safety of High Rise Blocks

'We have no blocks that have cladding like that used on Grenfell Tower'

Picture: @Natalie_Oxford

Following the horrific fire in Grenfell Tower in nearby North Kensington, Hammersmith & Fulham Council is taking steps to reassure people living in its high rise tower blocks, with fire officers visiting estates to talk to residents and check fire safety arrangements.

The council has also released a statement confirming that there are no buildings in the borough with the cladding that was added to the exterior of Grenfell Tower.

The statement in full is as follows:

"In Hammersmith & Fulham, we have 15 council housing blocks of 12 storeys or more.

"Our tallest buildings are three 23-storey blocks on Edward Woods estate in White City.

"We have another 51 buildings over six floors, making 66 buildings in all that are six storeys or more.

"We have reviewed fire safety in all these blocks.

"We have Fire Risk Assessments for all 66 blocks. We also have some of the country’s best independent experts validating our Fire Risk Assessments as part of our action plan following the Shepherds Court fire in August 2016.

"We understand how concerned people are following the Grenfell Tower fire and we currently have fire officers visiting our estates to talk to residents and check fire safety arrangements.

"In light of the events at Grenfell Tower, we are seeking urgent advice from London Fire Brigade on whether they intend to change their advice on high-rise safety.

"We have no blocks in H&F that have cladding like that used on Grenfell Tower.

"We have three blocks at the Edward Woods Estate that have cladding.  This work was done between 2010 and 2013.

"The cladding system used, particularly the insulation material, is very different from that used at Grenfell Tower.

"These three blocks, which share design features with Shepherds Court, are being reviewed by independent experts as part of our action plan following the Shepherds Court fire last summer. This includes extensive testing, the results of which are due at the end of September.

"Shepherds Court, and its sister blocks on Charecroft estate, do not have cladding."

An investigation into last August's fire in Shepherds Court, on the south side of Shepherd's Bush Green found that is was caused by a faulty tumble dryer.

The fire spread to five floors of the 18 storey building, affecting flats on the seventh to eleventh floors, but it was brought under control within two hours, thanks to the work of 120 firefighters from ten surrounding fire stations.

50 people had to be evacuated from their homes, but no one was seriously injured and London Ambulance said only two people required treatment at the scene.

H&F Council has also sent a letter to all residents of its high rise block, offering this advice from the Fire Brigade in the event of a fire:

• Immediately tell everyone
• Never use the lifts
• Keep low – where the air is cleaner
• Call 999
• Don’t go back in.
Plan ahead now
• Plan your best escape route, so you’re prepared.
• Talk through your escape plan with your family now, including children.
• Choose a safe room – one with a phone and a window, in case you can’t
get out.
• Keep escape routes clear.
• Get your own smoke alarm – even if there is a fire warning system in
your block

June 16, 2017