Fire Safety: Multi Storey Flats

Date Posted: June 19, 2017

The recent fire tragedy in a London tower block, Grenfell Tower, has prompted us to write to all our multi-storey flat (MSF) tenant/members to reassure them of West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative’s position, what steps we have taken and what steps we will continue to take, and also to advise tenant/members of what to do in the event of a fire. Tenant/member safety is of paramount importance.

WWHC has conducted a comprehensive fire risk assessment of our 6 multi-storey blocks (432 flats in total). This fire risk assessment was conducted by an external specialist advisory consultancy firm who are widely respected in Scotland. The assessment confirmed the WWHC position as being very positive with a few relatively minor items which required some attention by WWHC. We can confirm all actions recommended in the assessment have been satisfactorily completed.

  • In addition to this comprehensive assessment, Scottish Fire and Rescue inspect all of our 6 blocks on a quarterly basis and any recommendations to WWHC are immediately acted upon by WWHC staff.
  • Smoke detectors are installed in all our MSF flats and common areas and are regularly checked. These alarms relay directly back to the Concierge Station and if one is activated our Concierge staff act immediately.
  • Very recently all our staff have been through fire safety training and all WWHC Concierge staff have had refresher advice on procedures in relation to what to do in the event of a fire.
  • WWHC regularly issues advice on Fire Safety to all tenant/members in WWHC newsletters, on our website and in our new tenant information packs.

Following the tragic event in London, WWHC Senior Staff immediately embarked on a comprehensive review of all aspects of MSF fire safety in terms of technical, operational and communications issues. This review is almost complete and so far, we are very confident that the WWHC position, across all areas of scrutiny, is very positive.

Although it is far too early to say exactly what happened in the Grenfell Tower tragedy, some early focus has been placed on the overcladding system on the Grenfell Tower block. Our early analysis and understanding is that the cladding system used in Grenfell Tower is considerably and significantly different to the system used by WWHC. We have had written confirmation from our installers that our system is fully fire compliant and meets all Building Regulation Standards. Incidents of severe fire have occurred in buildings fitted with our cladding system and the cladding system has met the fire performance requirements in all respects. In those incidents the fire has not propagated and has been fully and successfully contained.

In the event of a fire:

  1. Only tackle the fire if it is safe to do so.
  2. Immediately alert the Emergency Services by dialling 999 and alert Concierge staff via your handset.
  3. Close all doors and windows in your flat and remain in your flat until advised otherwise by the Emergency Services unless, of course, you are being directly affected by heat or smoke, in those circumstances you should leave the property.

Attached is a very informative fire safety leaflet from Scottish Fire and Rescue which you should read and adhere to.

West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative will continue to assess the situation with particular consideration of any conclusions and recommendations emerging from the public inquiry.

If you require any further information please contact your Housing Officer or a member of the Property Team at the office.

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