Fire Safety in Tower Blocks

15 June 2017

Update re Fire Safety in Tower Blocks

Following the terrible fire in the high rise block of flats in London the thoughts of all the staff at First Choice Homes Oldham are with the victims and their families at this tragic time.

We are aware that there will be concern in Oldham from those who live in high rise blocks. Yesterday a team of our staff visited all our high rise flats to reassure residents and hand delivered a letter confirming the procedures in the event of a fire.

At First Choice Homes we have a compliance team who are responsible for fire safety in all our properties. They ensure that all our high rise blocks are regularly inspected, reviewing not only the installed safety features but also inspecting for any hazards and risks in communal areas. This is in line with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) policy and advice. We carry out annual fire risk assessments. These are completed by a specialist fire safety consultancy (Total Fire Safety) and these were last completed in March 2017.

We have spoken to GMFRS and they have advised that our residents should comply with the fire risk assessment for their blocks which reiterate that the ‘Stay Put’ policy is still the preferred option for the vast majority of incidents in high rise flats with fire resistant construction, like the ones in our blocks. A reminder of the guidance is provided below.

Fire Notice for Blocks FAQ's

We also thought it would be helpful to remind you of what the Greater Manchester Fire Service recommend you do to keep safe:

·         Fire doors should always remain shut.  The good weather may tempt you to keep them open, but in the interests of fire safety, please keep them closed at all times.

·         Fire doors should not be propped open in any way.  They should be closed to prevent the spread of fire and to protect everyone living in the building.

·         Communal areas must be kept clear of obstacles and rubbish.

·         No flammable materials should be kept either in communal areas or in homes.

·         If you spot any defects or damage to fire doors or any other doors in our buildings, please let us know right away so we can repair them immediately.

Should any of this advice or the situation change we will keep you up to date through our website, Facebook and Twitter.  If you have a specific question, please don’t hesitate to call our Service Centre on 0161 393 7117