Council tenants reassured on fire safety

Following the Grenfell Tower fire the Conservative led City of York Council has written to its tenants and leaseholders living in its blocks of council homes to give them reassurance regarding the safety approach of the council towards preventing anything similar happening in York.

The letter explains that the council has no high rise blocks – these are classified as having six or more storeys – and that none of its homes have aluminium composite material (ACM) type cladding which was used at Grenfell Towers. The letter further confirms that the council has an ongoing, rolling programme of fire risk assessments in place for all the council’s blocks with communal areas, including sheltered housing, hostels and older person’s accommodation and that it installs smoke detectors in tenants’ homes as part of the rolling Tenants’ Choice modernisation programme.

All sheltered housing schemes, older persons’ housing and hostels have communal fire alarm systems, and all vulnerable people living in them have personal emergency evacuation plans.

In the wake of the tragic events in London the council will be reviewing how its existing fire safety procedures are managed across its housing stock. Any areas for development which are found will be dealt with urgently through an improvement plan.

Cllr Sam Lisle, Conservative executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods said: “Whilst we are confident of the safety of our council blocks, it’s important that we carry out a full review of our wider fire safety strategy. Our reassurances to tenants are backed by regular actions and assessments and the expert advice of the fire service in order to minimise the risk of fire.

“Fire safety is something that all our estate management and repair staff are trained to be aware of which is why we remind tenants to keep corridors and stairways clear, and why we factor smoke alarm testing into gas servicing visits.

“Just as we are committed to building new homes with in-built fire resistance, so we regularly inspect our older properties and prioritise any issues which come to light.”

Any tenant needing advice about evacuation procedures on their block should contact their housing manager.