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Community leaders to be given assurances over Flint tower safety

Published date: 17 July 2017 |
Published by: Owen Evans 
Read more articles by Owen Evans  Email reporter


 

Reassurances over the fire safety of tower blocks in Flint are to be provided to community leaders.

Flintshire Council is to speak with councillors over the safety measures in place at the three tower blocks in Flint.

The discussion, which will take place on Wednesday, comes in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster in West London, in which scores of people lost their lives.

A verbal update will be provided to members of the council’s community and enterprise overview and scrutiny committee about fire safety.

Flintshire Council officers have been in touch with tenants living in council-owned homes across the county following the disaster and said their properties are safe and testing is not required in the county.

Clare Budden, chief officer for community and enterprise, previously said: “Flintshire Council have contacted tenants that have had insulation fitted to their properties to reassure them that the materials used are safe and fit for purpose.

“All local authorities in Wales have also been requested by the Welsh Government to test any council-owned homes that may contain Aluminium Cassette Material (ACM) in line with recent tests completed in England with the BRE.”

Mrs Budden confirmed no homes owned by the council have ACM attached to them – therefore “no testing is required”.

This is despite a number of requests being put forward to the council to find out if the cladding system used on the site in London is the same as the high rise sites in Castle Heights, Bolingbroke Heights and Richard Heights in Flint.

Cllr Bernie Attridge, Flintshire Council deputy leader and cabinet member for housing, previously spoke of the safety measures in place on the tower blocks.

He said: “Each of the three Heights is subject to a regulatory fire risk assessment.

“Each of the Heights has been recently refurbished with a number of protective measures included in that refurbishment.”

Those measures include the installation of sprinkler systems located throughout tenants’ properties and communal areas.

The installation of the sprinklers also included tenant meetings with partners from the fire and rescue service to explain the reasons behind their installation and key fire safety advice.

Protective fire doors are also in place on all properties while the refurbishment of the three Heights included the installation of external wall insulation.

Cllr Attridge said previously: “In deciding the type of insulation for our properties, our background research included visits to the fire and rescue services training centre in the Midlands to see demonstrations to help us determine the appropriate external wall insulation to fit in our properties.”

Throughout all the high-rise properties, smoke detectors are situated in tenants’ hallways as well as heat detectors in kitchens; and the detectors are monitored.

In communal areas such as stairwells, scooter rooms, laundry and community centres, and maintenance areas, smoke detectors are sited which are directly monitored by the fire and rescue service.

Cllr Attridge said a “rigorous” set of inspection regimes are also carried out including weekly alarm testing, quarterly inspections of smoke detectors and testing of emergency lighting every month.

Fire risk assessments were carried out on Castle Heights and Richard Heights in February while Bolingbroke Heights was inspected in December last year.

Independent checks of all fire extinguishers are carried out every six months while a weekly fire log which identifies tenants movements is also produced.

Development of personal emergency evacuation plans identifying individual tenants’ abilities to evacuate in the event of an emergency is also in place.

For more news from across the region visit leaderlive.co.uk

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