Statement on estates and fire safety
A joint statement from the Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, and Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Clayeon McKenzie, following the Grenfell Tower fire and the measures Hackney Council is taking to keep residents and estates safe.
No one can fail to be moved watching the coverage today of the terrible fire in Kensington. Our thoughts and sympathies are with those affected by the tragedy at Grenfell Tower and we want to highlight the bravery of residents and the emergency services, often at considerable risk to themselves, who rushed to help during the early hours of the morning. We have also seen ordinary Londoners rally to help those families who have lost everything in this awful fire.
While it's too early to comment on possible causes of the fire, we understand that residents are concerned and we want to reassure residents in Hackney that fire safety is of critical importance to us, the Council meets regularly with the London Fire Brigade to ensure we're doing all we can to keep our estates and residents safe.
We also work with the independent fire advisory services rigorously test and challenge our existing arrangements.
All of our buildings have an up-to-date fire risk assessment. Any priority work needed following these assessments has been done and we continue to monitor fire safety through estate inspections and our estates officers.
We have invested significantly in the last five years to upgrade lighting and fire alarms in communal areas, hard wire smoke alarms in properties and those in communal areas while upgrading all our stock to ensure that it meets fire regulations.
Despite this we cannot afford to be complacent, and will apply any lessons learned or recommendations arising from this terrible accident.
The London Fire Brigade's advice currently remains unchanged - for more information visit www.london-fire.gov.uk/know-the-plan-campaign.asp. Residents can also play their part by making sure fire exits are kept clear and ensuring that fire doors are kept closed. We also encourage residents to report any faulty fire doors or fire safety equipment immediately to the contact centre on 020 8356 3330 / 4440 so the Council can take action.
Questions and answers:
What fire safety precautions are in place on Hackney’s estates?
As a matter of routine, we meet regularly with the London Fire Brigade to discuss fire risk assessments and other matters to ensure we are doing all we can to keep our estates safe. We also work with the independent fire advisory services to rigorously test and challenge our existing arrangements. We continue to monitor fire safety through estate inspections and the vigilance of our estate-based staff.
Are you taking any immediate action to ensure Hackney’s blocks are safe?
We have rigorous procedures in place to ensure Hackney’s estates are safe. We meet regularly with the London Fire Brigade to ensure we're doing all we can to keep our estates and residents safe. We also work with the independent fire advisory services rigorously test and challenge our existing arrangements. All of our buildings have an up to date fire risk assessment. Any priority work needed following these assessments has been done and we continue to monitor fire safety through estate inspections and our estates officers. In addition, all buildings have up to date certification for dry riser testing and electronic certificates- these are assessed twice yearly with one test and one visual inspection.
How do you check that Hackney’s blocks are safe?
All of our blocks are subject to individual fire risk assessments – all of which are up-to-date – which are agreed with the London Fire Brigade. The assessment schedules vary in accordance with that level of risk.
Should residents stay put, or evacuate in the case of a fire in a block of flats?
At the moment the London Fire Brigade’s advice about what to do in the case of a fire in a block of flats remains unchanged. More information is available here: www.london-fire.gov.uk/know-the-plan-campaign.asp.
Do any Hackney blocks have similar cladding to that at Grenfell Tower?
At the moment it is too early to say, as we don’t know the detail of the cladding used at Grenfell Tower – or if that played a part in this tragedy. All of the cladding used on Hackney buildings is subject to rigorous safety checks but, we are of course inspecting them to allow to give greater reassurance to residents.