£2m to be spent on fire safety in Norwich tower blocks | Politics

PUBLISHED: 19:40 17 January 2018 | UPDATED: 19:51 17 January 2018

The towers in Heartsease. Pic: Colin Finch.

The towers in Heartsease. Pic: Colin Finch.

Archant © 2007

High rise flats are to profit from £2m in safety enhancements to make sure the “events of Grenfell will never be repeated” in Norwich.

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London, in which greater than 70 folks died, a survey of Norwich’s eight tower blocks was commissioned and was offered to Norwich City Council’s (NCC) cupboard this night.

That survey, carried out by NPS Group with the assist of Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, has provide you with a string of suggestions to enhance safety in the towers, the place there are greater than 450 flats.

Overall it was discovered the tower blocks had been properly maintained with “no serious concerns”.

But, for further safety, council bosses intend to pace up enchancment work which had been deliberate, or has already been partially accomplished.

That will embody changing 718 entrance doorways and retailer doorways at a price of almost £670,000, with work due to begin later this month. The council says that may deal with nearly half the problems recognized.

Gail Harris, deputy chief of NCC, mentioned a “significant amount of resources” had been put into the report.

She added whereas the council had come in for criticism over its fire safety coverage in current years, they’d not shift.

“The council has on occasion been criticised for the stance it takes on communal areas,” she mentioned. “As far as our tower blocks are concerned there should be nothing in the communal areas. No gnomes, no plant pots and no rubbish. It is a matter of safety for both the residents and the fire service.”

Garry Collins, head of fire prevention and safety at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, praised the council for a “huge piece of work, done diligently”.

“This could have been a light touch but it was such level of detail no stone has been left unturned,” he mentioned.

“The events of Grenfell will never be repeated. The fundamental outcome is you are now no more at risk in one of our tower blocks than in a bungalow.”

Council chief Alan Waters mentioned the authority will now search to recoup a few of its prices from central authorities.

“In the early days following this fire they were up for supporting councils with any remedial works they had to take,” he mentioned. “I think we should hold them to that initial promise. We may have to shame them into responsibility.”

What work will be performed?

• Work will begin this month to change 718 entrance doorways and retailer doorways in each tower block at a price of £668,000. The new entrance doorways could have fire proof letterboxes.

• £1m is to be spent changing picket framed panels in bogs with steel framed mounted panels and placing particular sealant round air flow ducts and waste pipes. That will be performed over the following 12 months.

• Other work will see enhancements to dividing doorways in flats, battery-powered smoke alarms changed with hardwired ones and the removing of polystyrene ceiling tiles.

• The purpose is that the modifications will enhance what is called “fire compartmentalisation”, whereby a fire in a person flat can be contained for not less than 30 minutes.

• People won’t have to transfer out of their flats whereas the work is carried out.

• There may even be an training and data programme round fire safety.

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