Fire safety teams in Norfolk are continuing to make home visits and reassure the public about the safety of tower blocks across the county following the Grenfell Tower fire in London.
Staff from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) are working closely with Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards team, district councils and housing associations to speak to people living in mid-rise blocks and individual homes about home safety.
The latest work follows NFRS’s visits, immediately after the fire, to the county’s 10 high rise blocks (nine in Norwich, one in King’s Lynn) to carry out operational checks and reassure the community. They carried out detailed audits, checking the condition and presence of existing fire safety measures such as fire doors, dry riser water mains and notices.
Garry Collins, Head of Fire Protection and Prevention, said: “The safety of our Norfolk residents is our first priority. Following the devastating Grenfell Tower fire, we initially visited all of Norfolk’s residential high rise buildings to carry out operational checks and community reassurance.
“We are also working with local authority housing officers and trading standards to carrying out more detailed building Fire Safety audits and Home Fire Safety visits in each of these buildings. This work is also continuing with joint inspections of medium rise residential properties across the county.
“During these one-to-one Home Safety checks, we will cover all potential fire hazards and importantly, actions required in an emergency to keep everyone safe, including fitting/testing a smoke detectors.
“We will also work with housing providers, building control and environmental health teams to review fire safety and building construction over the coming weeks and months.”
Residents are being reminded of the importance of regularly testing their smoke alarms. Those living in flats are urged to re-familiarise themselves with the location of fire exits and ensure access routes are kept clear.
As well as residential blocks, NFRS are also working closely with other organisations to look at the safety of public buildings. While none of the hospitals identified by the Department of Health as having buildings using aluminium cladding are in Norfolk, NFRS is working with fire officers at the three acute hospitals in the county. Fire safety teams are assessing and validating their risk assessments, and providing additional advice and guidance where it is requested, with a priority on NHS areas where there is in-patient accommodation.
As this is an evolving situation, regular multi-agency meetings are held to discuss the priority areas. Once tower blocks and NHS buildings have been visited and checked, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service will then move on to looking at other buildings, including commercial buildings and schools.
Members of the public can call Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 917 8137 to arrange for a free Home Fire Risk Check.