Fact Sheet and Important Fire Safety Message

You will be aware of the tragic fire that took place at Grenfell Tower, a London high rise this week. Whilst there are on-going investigations into this incident, it is important we remind all residents living in tower blocks of our fire safety message and offer reassurance as to how important your safety is to us.

In addition to this, we have also linked our FACT SHEET with regards to fire safety at the block and a reminder of fire safety procedures.

Thorough health and safety checks take place regularly at Chivenor and Topcliffe House. We employ specialist fire safety consultants who have carried out Fire Risk assessments and we work alongside West Midlands Fire Service to ensure we meet fire safety regulations.

Our Estates Team carry out weekly fire safety checks on the blocks. All of our checks are up to date and in good order.

The policy in the event of a fire at both blocks is to Stay Put. The policy is based on advice provided by West Midlands Fire Service and the type of construction of each block.

Our advice to all residents living in tower blocks, in the event of a fire is to remain in your flat, unless advised to leave by the emergency services or if the fire is within your own flat in which case you should leave the property and shut the front door and follow the evacuation procedure.

It has been announced that there will be a full public enquiry into the events at Grenfell Tower and we will await the outcome to see what lessons we can learn. In the meantime there may be action we need to take in conjunction with West Midlands Fire Service and our specialist advisors.

We will be undertaking additional checks on the external cladding to the blocks. Whilst it is very different in design and specification to that fitted to Grenfell Tower we will be seeking additional reassurance.

The type of fire witnessed in London is extremely rare, and whilst these tragic events may raise concerns for residents living in tower blocks, please be assured that CVCH takes the health and safety of our residents extremely seriously.

Fire Risk Assessments (FRA’s)

FRA’s have been carried out at both Topcliffe House and Chivenor House by our appointed specialist fire safety contractors. The next FRA’s are due February 2018. All actions identified in the current assessment have been completed and no actions are outstanding.

Checks Outside of FRA’s

Extra to FRA work, the Estate Services team carry out weekly checks at each block. The check comprises a visual inspection of ‘high risk’ areas e.g. under stairwells, checking chute rooms, communal areas,  the testing of emergency lighting systems and also testing of the fire alarm where applicable.

Fire Detection Equipment

Our contractors inspect fire detection equipment every 3 months. In addition to this, our Estate Services Team carry out weekly checks.

Cladding System

Topcliffe House and Chivenor House were ‘wrapped’ with cladding as part of the refurbishment programme in 2003.

The installation of this system is not the same as applied to Grenfell House. The cladding at Grenfell House was fitted with a cavity whereas at Topcliffe House and Chivenor House, the cladding is applied directly onto the original face of each building. The materials used in the cladding also differ from those at Grenfell Tower. However given the concerns raised regards cladding we are choosing to undertake additional testing of the cladding to provide additional reassurance.

Stay Put Policy

The policy in the event of a fire at both blocks is to Stay Put. The policy is based on advice provided by West Midlands Fire Service and the type of construction of each block.

Our advice to all residents living in tower blocks, in the event of a fire is to remain in your flat, unless advised to leave by the emergency services or if the fire is within your own flat in which case you should leave the property and shut the front door and follow the evacuation procedure.

Sprinkler Systems

Neither Topcliffe or Chivenor is fitted with a sprinkler system. At the time the blocks were built and thereafter refurbished, there was no requirement to install such a system. There is also no current regulatory requirement to install sprinkler systems to existing buildings retrospectively.