‘All our tower blocks meet safety standards’ says Stevenage Borough Council

Firefighters at the scene of a small fire at Harrow Court in Stevenage earlier this year.

Firefighters at the scene of a small fire at Harrow Court in Stevenage earlier this year. - Credit: Archant

Stevenage Borough Council has issued information to reassure people living in the town’s tower blocks following the tragedy in Grenfell tower on June 14.

Smoke billows from a fire that engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in west London (Picture: Rick F

Smoke billows from a fire that engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in west London (Picture: Rick Findler/PA Wire) - Credit: Archant

Latest estimates show 79 people are thought to have died in the fire and investigations have centred around the around cladding that was fitted to the outside of the building.

The government has set up an investigation across the UK which has so far found cladding on almost 100 buildings has failed fire proofing tests.

However none of Stevenage’s tower blocks have been identified as having the kind of cladding used at Grenfell.

The council has issued a statement saying: “We understand and share the anxiety and concern that people are experiencing following the devastating fire in Kensington this week. It is important to stress again that disasters like this are extremely rare.


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“We want to reassure our residents that we take their safety and our obligations on fire prevention and fire protection extremely seriously.

“Like all responsible residential landlords, we work hard to make sure that our blocks remain safe, resilient and compliant with building regulations and fire regulations, and we follow the advice of our fire service colleagues.”

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The council says all its blocks have fire prevention equipment and fire-fighting equipment, comply fully with the Fire Safety Order 2005 and are regularly inspected by council staff and fire service staff.

It says it gives all tenants up-to-date information about fire safety and provides general information and guidance in lobby areas, stairwells and lifts. It states all its flats are designed with at least 30 minutes’ resistance from fire and smoke, which means that if a fire did break out somewhere else in the building, you would be safe in your flat for at least half an hour.

This is the minimum legal requirement.

All the flat blocks have ‘simple’ escape routes but none of the flats have sprinkler systems because they were built before this became a legal requirement.

If you would like more information, if you have concerns about safety in your home or if you need further reassurance, you should speak to your tenancy officer.

If you have questions about fire safety, email them to FireSafety@stevenage.gov.uk.

You can find more detailed information online at www.stevenage.gov.uk/housing/184153.

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