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Fire safety

June 27 2017 | Articles | News

Update June 27 2017

A further statement from Robin Lawler, chief executive of Northwards Housing:

“We have checked the type of rainscreen cladding used on the four high-rise blocks where we directly arranged the work - Mossbrook, Humphries, Vauxhall and Roach courts.

“The materials used have a mineral core and are fire-rated to Euroclass B-s2-d0, meaning they are difficult to ignite. The fifth block, Whitebeck Court, was a contractor’s design and build scheme.

“The contractor has confirmed that the rainscreen cladding meets building regulations, including fire safety (for the technically minded, this is Class 0 of the Approved Document B of the Building Regulations 2000 England and Wales). Both of these types of rainscreen cladding are different to the one used on Grenfell Tower.

“You will have heard via the media that cladding from high-rise blocks all over the country is currently being tested. The testing organisation, BRE, is currently only testing cladding which is the same as that used on Grenfell Tower.

“Because the cladding used on Northwards-managed high-rise blocks is different from the Grenfell cladding, it has not yet been called for testing and may not be. We are ready and willing to co-operate should testing be required. However, it is important to emphasise that it will not be Northwards that decides if the testing is necessary.

“In addition, we’ve sent reassurance letters to every high-rise resident, and we’ll shortly be sending fire safety information to every high-rise flat too. We’ve also been meeting with groups of high-rise residents to answer any questions they may have. Residents’ safety remains our priority and we continue to work closely with the fire service."

Previous update June 16 2017

A further statement from Robin Lawler, chief executive of Northwards Housing, following the tragic fire at a London high-rise block:

“There is speculation in the media that the cladding may have played a part in the way the fire at Grenfell Tower spread.

“The type of cladding used at the London block hasn’t officially been confirmed.

“At Northwards, we’re undertaking a technical assessment of any improvement works that have been carried out at the blocks we manage on behalf of Manchester City Council.

“We can say that the cladding materials used on refurbished high-rise blocks in our management have a mineral core and are fire-rated to Euroclass B-s2-d0, meaning they are difficult to ignite.

“We’re reviewing fire safety assessments across all our stock in order to be able to give even greater reassurance to our tenants whose safety is always of paramount importance.”

Original statement June 14 2017

A statement from Robin Lawler, chief executive of Northwards Housing, following the tragic fire at a London high-rise block this morning:

“First and foremost, our thoughts and condolences are with those affected by the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London today.

“Northwards manages a number of high-rise blocks on behalf of Manchester City Council and we already have robust fire safety systems in place for our properties. In light of this incident, and similar to many other housing providers, we’ll be carrying out a full review of these arrangements.

“We’ll also be carrying out a more technical assessment of any improvement works that have been carried out at the blocks and we’ll provide an update once that has been completed.

“In the meantime, we would remind all tenants to ensure all rubbish is discarded in the correct way. Anything left in a communal area or outside a block, and not in the designated bin area, should be reported to us immediately on the usual number: 03000 123 123."

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is offering Safe and Well visits for any tenants worried about their personal fire safety. Ring 0800 555 815 or book a Safe and Well visit here.