H&F Council 'Working on Plans' for Sprinklers in All Tower Blocks

Updated statement seeks to offer further reassurance to high rise residents


Hammersmith and Fulham Council says it is working on plans to install sprinkler systems in all its tower blocks, and it is also seeking to offer further assurances to those living in its high rise buildings.

In an update to an earlier statement to the community following the horrific fire in Grenfell Tower in nearby North Kensington, the council says:

"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 North Kensington. 

"We have reviewed fire safety, and have fire risk assessments for all these 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 are working on plans to install sprinkler systems in all our tower blocks.

"We understand how concerned people are following the Grenfell Tower fire. We currently have fire officers visiting our estates to talk to residents and check fire safety arrangements, and letters have been sent to all residents in high-rise blocks. 

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

The council is particularly seeking to reassure residents of the Edward Woods Estate, where the three 22 storey blocks were cladded between 2010 and 2013.

In a letter sent to residents, Councillor Lisa Homan, Cabinet Member for Housing says: " Like all councils, we’re currently waiting to hear from London Fire Brigade on what caused the fire and how it could have spread so fast. We’re ready to act swiftly on any advice they give. If the fire experts say things need to change at other blocks, we will do anything necessary to keep you safe.

"We also have extra officers based at Edward Woods to answer any detailed questions you may have."

Cllr Homan also addresses concerns about cladding on the buildings, saying:"According to media reports, the cladding used at Grenfell Tower was Reynobond panels, possibly with a flammable plastic core. That is not the same as the cladding at Edward Woods which uses fire-resilient stone wool insulation, supplied by Rockwool Ltd.

" Our independent fire safety consultants are currently doing stringent tests on the cladding
at Edward Woods to make sure it’s safe."

You can see details of the materials used on the refurbishment here and further details on the planning application.

On its website, Rockwool, whose London office is in Chiswick Tower on Chiswick High Road, says: "Rockwool stone wool insulation is non-combustible.This means that it does not burn and according to the official test classification is assumed to make no contribution to fire growth."

H&F Council has also sent a letter to all residents of its high rise blocks, 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

London Fire Brigade has also issued updated advice on tower block safety - you can find the full details here.


June 26, 2017