22/06/2017 - Permalink

Shropshire Council and Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service reassure residents following Grenfell Tower fire

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Shropshire Council and Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service want to reassure local communities following the shocking fire at Grenfell Tower in London last week.

There are no high rise residential buildings above six storeys high in the Shropshire Council area. However, the council and fire service is undertaking detailed surveys of a number of buildings to provide additional assurance, though at this stage they do not anticipate any problems.

Both organisations are working closely with the Government to provide information concerning buildings in Shropshire, and again at this stage there is no cause for concern.  All social landlords have been contacted to ensure that they are taking appropriate action.

Fire engine

Fire engine

Lee Chapman, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for emergency planning and housing, said:

“My heart goes out to all those affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower. We take our responsibilities as a council very seriously, especially concerning fire safety, and know there is no room for complacency.

“We keep our fire safety advice and practices under continuous review and we work closely with our partners to practice our emergency response.

“However, I want to further reassure our residents that we are doing even more to ensure their safety, and we will of course be taking on board any lessons to be learned from this tragedy.”

Clive Wright, Shropshire Council’s chief executive, said:-

“We have offered our support to the Royal Borough of Kensington. We understand that several local authorities within that locality are already providing assistance. We are ready to help in any way we can.

“Shropshire Council and all of our partners, including police, fire and the NHS, take our responsibilities very seriously. We regularly train for, and practice, procedures for emergency events. There is a team of staff constantly working on emergency planning and this operates day and night, every day of the year with no exception. We work hard to avoid emergencies and to be ready for them if ever they do occur. All of this happens in the background, whether it is a storm, a flood or some other incident, we are as ready as we can be. Often these incidents are avoided or sorted out before the public get to know about them.”

Guy Williams, Group Manager in Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Prevention and Protection department, said firefighters have visited all three of the occupied buildings classified as ‘high rise’ in Shropshire. The three buildings – Apley House, Richards House and Reynolds House – are all in Telford.

Guy Williams said:-

“The visits were aimed at reassuring residents and providing them with basic fire safety advice and guidance. We are satisfied with the current Fire Risk Assessment and the fire safety plan for the buildings and we support the fire plans, including the stay in place policy. We will continue to monitor these buildings and the fire safety plans that support them.”

Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing (STAR Housing), who manage Shropshire Council’s social housing, take all aspects of health and safety seriously. As part of their responsibilities they carry out regular Fire Risk Assessments of all their blocks of flats and also ensure that the fire detection systems within tenants’ homes are well maintained.

Tenants’ homes have fire detection systems within them, including a heat detector in their kitchens and mains-wired smoke detectors. STAR Housing ensure that if a tenant’s home has a gas boiler it, along with the associated heating system and smoke detectors, are inspected and serviced annually.

STAR Housing also carry out regular inspections of the electrical wiring within a tenant’s home to ensure it is safe.

For more information about Shropshire’s emergency planning procedures visit https://shropshire.gov.uk/emergencies-and-major-incidents/

STAR Housing tenants can find fire safety advice and information at http://www.starhousing.org.uk/report-a-repair/fire-safety-advice/.

Further information

Shropshire Council works closely with local police, ambulance and fire service, as well as the NHS, to develop shared emergency response plans. These plans are tested regularly and include the responses needed to evacuate residents affected by major incidents such as fire, flooding, building damage etc. This includes the establishment of respite centres and longer-term accommodation needs of those people evacuated from their homes.