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Fire and Rescue Service inspecting residential high rises


Date: 28th June, 2017

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is working with building owners to inspect and check almost 250 high rise residential tower blocks across its area, following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Fire crews are visiting 202 blocks of five to eight storeys, most of which fall within the local authority areas of Bournemouth and Poole. In addition, fire safety officers are focusing on a further 40 blocks of nine storeys and above.

Head of Fire Safety, Group Manager Seth Why, said: “Since the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, we have received numerous enquiries from concerned members of the community who live in high rise buildings. Over the coming few weeks, we will be re-inspecting every residential high rise in our area, to reassure residents and to ensure satisfactory fire precautions are in place.

He added: “As well as helping people to access our free Safe and Well visits, we want residents in high rise buildings to be assured of the response they can expect from us in the event of a fire and, most importantly, to understand the arrangements for safe evacuation, should it be needed.”

Amongst the areas being checked by the Service are fire risk assessments, means of escape from the building, fire doors, fire alarms, evacuation plans and emergency lighting.

In addition to the work with residential high rises, the Service is also liaising with its local NHS hospital trusts. Mr Why said: “There has been concern nationally about hospital buildings being fitted with the same external cladding as used at Grenfell Tower. The Department for Communities and Local Government has advised us that none of our local hospitals are affected in this way. However, we are talking to the trusts and will work with them to reassure patients and visitors as required.”

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service continues to promote the fitting of sprinkler systems in all buildings, as they are known to save lives and reduce property damage. This was proven earlier this month, when a sprinkler system prevented a flat fire in Poole from spreading out of control.

Anyone living in Dorset and Wiltshire can request a free Safe & Well visit from the Fire and Rescue Service – call 0800 038 2323 or visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safe-and-well-visits

If you have a fire safety concern about a high rise building, please contact the Fire Safety team on 01722 691717 or email [email protected]

Safety advice specifically for people living in high rise buildings can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/high-rise-flats

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