Statement on fire safety in the light of the Grenfell Tower fire

Ocean Estate Image

The Ocean Estate in Stepney

Mayor John Biggs has sought to reassure residents after he convened a meeting of senior housing and safety officials to look at fire safety in the council’s housing stock following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in Kensington on 14 June.

Following the meeting, the Chief Executive of Tower Hamlets Homes (THH) has written to all residents to reassure them that safety is the council’s number one priority and set out the practical steps they can take to protect themselves from unnecessary fire risks. You can read the letter from THH.

The letter clarifies that all 900 Tower Hamlets Homes blocks have had Fire Risk Assessments carried out in the last nine months by qualified fire risk assessors to ensure that buildings remain safe and identify any issues.  

Most of our tenanted flats have smoke detectors installed and many have new fire-rated front doors. We will be renewing more fire suppressing front doors for tenants later this year. The council has also clarified where tenants can go to obtain a smoke alarm if tenants don’t have one, they should call 020 7364 5015.

The council is also in contact with local Registered Providers (RPs) - Housing Associations that run independently from the council - to seek reassurance they are also reviewing their fire safety advice in light of the Grenfell Tower fire.

The council is doing all that we can to keep our residents safe from fire, but residents can help too by following this advice and London Fire Brigade guidance on fire safety.

  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm in your home
  • Keep balconies free from clutter
  • Please don’t leave rubbish or bikes in communal areas or obstruct escape routes
  • Make sure you are familiar with your building and know your nearest exit
  • If you are a smoker please do not smoke in common areas of the block
  • Always fully extinguish cigarettes smoked in your home and dispose of them carefully and safely.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said:

“Our thoughts continue to be with the families of the victims and those affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Resident safety is our top priority and so the council is looking closely at what lessons we can learn from the Grenfell Tower tragedy. The work Tower Hamlets Homes has carried out means that all 900 THH blocks have been Fire Risk Assessed in the last nine months and we are working to address any issues raised.

“The council will continue to work with THH, other landlords and residents to ensure fire safety is prioritised. We are also reviewing and encouraging RPs to check the situation of all blocks, particularly high rise blocks, which have had cladding added, as this is inevitably a very topical and immediate concern.  

“I would strongly urge all residents to take this opportunity to think again about their own personal fire safety at home. Checking your smoke alarm is working and keeping escape routes clear and fire doors closed could make a world of difference in the event of a fire.”

Posted on Friday 16th June 2017