Fire safety risk assessments give further reassurance for South Cambridgeshire tenants

22 August 2017

Fire safety assessments that began before the recent tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London have given Council tenants further reassurance that buildings are in good condition.

South Cambridgeshire District Council started the latest of their regular safety checks on communal areas and their small blocks of flats on 6 June to check the buildings and emergency routes.

Housing bosses are reassuring tenants after the thorough independent audits have not shown any issues that need urgent action.

The check-ups look at many safety aspects and compliance with current regulations so the Council can plan service upgrades and improvements to benefit residents and their visitors.

The Council does not own any tower blocks and the largest block of flats the Council owns is three storeys high.

The Council has some houses and bungalows with external wall insulation, but these are on solid wall homes where insulation boards are fixed directly to the wall face and sealed in with cement based render, reinforcing mesh and top coat.

All external wall insulation conforms to British Standards and carries the highest fire resistance in its class. It was installed by accredited and approved contractors who adhere to all stringent requirements of the Building Regulations.

Cllr Lynda Harford, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “The work we have been doing on fire safety is carried out on a regular basis so we manage and invest in our homes to keep them in good condition. The fabric of our buildings is sound as we expected it to be, but we will now be looking at the detailed information to make sure we look at how we continue to keep our tenants and visitors safe.

“We will be making sure we put the recommendations in these reports into action as well as any recommendations for non-tower blocks that come out of the Grenfell investigation.

“We are also checking that work like replacement of doors carried out by people who have purchased their homes is compliant with fire safety regulations. It is also important for our tenants to be conscious about not obstructing fire escape routes and we will be reminding them about not leaving combustible materials in communal areas or stairwells. Having clear and safe escape routes is important wherever you live.

“We already set aside money in our budget last year to upgrade door entry systems and lighting this financial year – this is part of our ongoing investment in our homes so our tenants have high quality and safe accommodation.”