Further to the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in London, we wanted to let tenants know about the on-going steps we are taking around fire safety.
Firstly, we want to assure tenants that their safety is our paramount concern. We carry out regular fire safety checks at all our high rise properties, in addition to our regular fire risk assessments. We regularly test the alarms and all of the materials used in our properties to ensure they comply with strict building regulations.
It is not clear yet what started the fire at Grenfell Tower or how it was able to progress so quickly, but we will be closely monitoring the investigation to ensure we take on board and apply any findings which may be relevant to our properties. We are working closely with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue to conduct additional safety checks on all our high rise buildings and as such tenants may have noticed increased activity whilst these inspections are carried out. We will listen to all the advice they give us, and take all steps possible to increase their comfort and safety where we can.
What we do know is that the cladding system we have used in Doncaster is an External Wall Insulation (EWI) Render System which is not the same as was used at Grenfell Tower.
In addition to what we normally do, we have been double checking all the building materials used in external improvements to ensure tenants can be reassured that they are fit for purpose.
As part of this review, as set out above, the core cladding system we have used is different to that used in Grenfell Tower. However, we are aware that a small capping detail under the windows of Silverwood House is similar to that used on Grenfell Tower. Whilst this minor capping work (not the window frames or external cladding) is a different make and supplier to that used in London, we are seeking expert advice and ensuring that extensive further testing is urgently undertaken.
Separately, we continue to investigate the possibility of fitting sprinklers to our existing high rise buildings. This was something we were already looking into before the recent tragedy.
Tenants will have already received our fire safety advice for tenants in high rise accommodation, which we reissued last week. This advice is given to tenants when they move into their homes, but we want to ensure that people have the opportunity to re-familiarise themselves with these.
If tenants have any further concerns or queries, please contact our customer relations team on 01302 862726 or email us at: Customercare@stlegerhomes.co.uk.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue have issued their own advice here: http://www.syfire.gov.uk/reassurance-given-following-london-fire-tragedy/