Council to carry out ‘intrusive’ fire safety programme

Council to carry out ‘intrusive’ fire safety programme

BRENT COUNCIL will install sprinklers and test cladding as part of what it called an ‘intrusive’ fire safety programme to ensure its buildings remain safe.

This Is Local London reported on the plans by Brent Council ‘to ensure that buildings are safe’ following the Grenfell Tower fire two years ago, with councillor Eleanor Southwood – responsible for housing and welfare reform – having presented a report on the programme of fire safety changes last week. To start with, the council has already introduced specialist fire doors in its properties, and will ‘continue to monitor’ the situation.

The monitoring will include ‘the need to keep communal areas clear’ alongside installing ‘higher quality’ alarms and retrofitting sprinklers in six high rises. Her report also noted that the council will be carrying out testing ‘and the necessary fire-prevention measures’ on buildings that have cladding, though there are no council owned buildings clad with aluminium composite material.

She commented that ‘keeping residents safe in their homes has to be our top priority. This report is an overview of what we are doing with our own stock, which is around making sure that we do the most intrusive fire safety checks to make sure we are aware of any risks that exist’. In turn, there will be a ‘greater opportunity’ to ‘keep a handle’ on fire safety once the council takes cleaning services for its properties back in house.

Mrs Southwood added a reminder that private landlords ‘must adhere’ to council licensing policies on fire safety, including annual gas safety checks and ‘periodical’ checks of electrical appliances. Landlords managing houses in multiple occupation must also install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on floors with a ‘solid fuel source’, as well as put fire blankets in kitchens and ensure that there is a ‘clear’ fire escape route.