Following the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower in London last week, many residents of multi-storey tower blocks in Edinburgh and Leith have been understandably concerned about the safety of their own homes.
I attended a briefing session at the Council for an update on what has been done by the housing team and fire safety officers to re-assure residents.
Here is a summary of some of the key points.
- Based on reported materials used in Grenfell House, the council's housing team are satisfied that the same types of materials have not been used in over-cladding blocks in Edinburgh. Mineral based, non-flammable materials and non-combustible rendering have been used in claddings and refurbishments here.
- This will be kept under review as information about the materials and construction methods used in Grenfell House and other tower blocks continues to be updated.
- From early on the Wednesday morning following the Grenfell Tower fire, council staff have attended in and around all of the Council's tower blocks to reassure residents about the approach taken to fire safety for their buildings. This is based on regular fire risk assessments, daily block inspections and annual inspections by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
- A full review of fire safety in our tower blocks has been commissioned and will be carried out by an independent fire safety expert. This will include:-
- Assessment of buildings including design, materials and construction
- Evaluation of all fire safety procedures including fire prevention, containment and suppression.
- Fire safety advice to tenants and residents
The council's team sent a message that they want people to feel safe in their homes and will do everything they can to ensure this, and to learn any lessons from Grenfell Tower.
They also ask people to be vigilant to help ensure safety for themselves and others. Have a fire escape route in mind, make sure you don't obstruct hallways and report any risks.
You can also arrange to have a free Home Fire Safety Visit, including fitting of a smoke alarm. Call 0800 0731 999 or text 'Fire' to 80800 from your mobile phone. Visit the website for more information: http://www.firescotland.gov.uk/your-safety/for-householders/home-fire-safety-visit.aspx