Norfolk Fire and Rescue continues building inspections

Norfolk Fire and Rescue continues building inspections

THE SERVICE (NFRS) says it is ‘confident about the safety of the county’s residents’ while continuing to carry out building fire safety checks.

NFRS noted that the inspections have continued at commercial buildings across the county ‘since the Grenfell Tower fire in London’, working alongside other agencies ‘to carry out safety checks at high-rise tower blocks, mid-rise blocks and other buildings’ such as commercial properties, schools and hospitals. Initial responses to Grenfell included ‘swiftly’ checking all residential buildings taller than 18 metres, including nine in Norwich and one in King’s Lynn, with all ‘found to be compliant’.

Mid-rise inspections of other buildings were then undertaken, with one in Norwich – Brennan Bank – failing fire safety checks due to cladding. However, the risks were assessed and ‘there are currently extra measures in place to reduce fire risk, with a range of more permanent control measures being considered’. As well as these inspections, the service has been advising the public ‘on fire prevention measures that can be taken’, such as ‘fitting smoke alarms and keeping exits and corridors clear’.

The service’s fire protection work now ‘continues to expand’ from residential to commercial buildings, and NFRS are ‘currently working through a list of more than 100 buildings in the county which will be given an extra fire safety check’.

Garry Collins, NFRS’s head of fire protection and prevention, commented: ‘The Grenfell Tower incident has given us a heightened area of focus and we have looked at and reviewed the risk in buildings across Norfolk as a result. The safety of Norfolk’s communities is at the fore front of our work and these building health checks have been valuable in confirming our building safety across our county.

‘We are not resting on our laurels since we completed the initial residential checks and are now heavily focused on ensuring the safety of commercial buildings, with the full support of all partners. Members of the public can help to reduce these fire risks by taking measures in their homes such as installing smoke alarms and testing them weekly- statistics show residents are more than twice as likely to die in a house fire if a smoke alarm is not fitted. A smoke alarm provides a prompt early warning while a fire is in the early stages of development.’