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Latest update on Granville Road - Friday, 4 August

Updated 11am - Friday, 4 August

We have been informed by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) that the type of cladding system used on the three Granville Road tower blocks did not meet the required standard, along with over 100 other tower blocks across the country.

In response to this, we have written to the residents at Granville Road, to let them know that we are awaiting more detailed feedback on the technical tests. 

The safety and peace of mind of our residents is our priority, and there are already plans in place for the cladding to be removed. Preparatory works have begun on site and cladding removal will begin on August 14. In the meantime, we continue to have additional fire safety measures in place to reassure residents.

It is our intention to replace the cladding system as quickly as we can. We are following DCLG guidance and exploring options to enable us to put replacement cladding in place as soon as possible. We will provide further updates as this progresses.

Updated 3pm Friday 7 July

The removal of cladding will soon begin on the buildings in Granville Road Estate with residents sent letters on 6 July. For full details on this process and the timetable click here.

3pm Friday 30 June

Barnet Homes and Barnet Council attended the Granville Road Residents’ Association meeting yesterday (Thursday, 29 June). Steve Leader, London Fire Brigade Borough Commander, was also present to offer advice and reassurance.

This meeting follows the inspections that took place last Saturday by Barnet Homes of the three tower blocks on Granville Road, where they were accompanied by officers from London Fire Brigade. Following these inspections, there were no additional fire safety concerns flagged.

Last night’s meeting was an opportunity to meet and hear local residents’ concerns in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire and to offer reassurance to residents that their safety is the number one priority.

We have produced an FAQ to answer commonly asked questions which you can read here:  

Barnet Homes, Barnet Council and London Fire Brigade will continue to work with the residents’ association. We will provide regular updates on works as they progress.

4pm Wednesday 28 June

The council and Barnet Homes take fire safety extremely seriously. Extensive measures are in place to ensure our homes comply with fire safety regulations. However, the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017 has highlighted the importance of ensuring that blocks meet best practice in fire safety measures and providing reassurance to residents that their homes are safe.

Barnet Homes, on behalf of the council, manage 24 high rise tower blocks, including 10 tower blocks with cladding systems, and of these, three tower blocks at Granville Road have been identified as having similar external cladding panels to those reportedly used at Grenfell Tower.

All of our tower blocks have up to date Fire Risk Assessments and they all been inspected since the Grenfell fire. The FRA system has been developed in conjunction with independent fire safety experts and the London Fire Brigade (LFB), who we continue to work closely with.

You can read the Housing Committee report that sets out the actions we have taken since the fire at Grenfell Tower here

Housing Committee agree investment in additional fire safety measures

27 June 2017

Barnet Council’s Housing Committee has committed to investing an initial £10million in fire safety improvement measures in response to the Grenfell Tower fire.

The budget was approved on Monday 26 June and will be allocated from the council’s Housing Revenue, while we seek national support for funding. Barnet Homes will carry out a review of fire safety measures in the council’s 24 high rise blocks to ensure they all meet best practice, including consideration of sprinkler systems, improved fire and smoke alarm systems and other measures based on advice from the London Fire Brigade.

Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, said: “Resident safety is our number one priority. To ensure such a tragedy is not repeated, we have a responsibility to our community to make sure safety systems are of the highest standard - including investigating whether sprinklers would be appropriate in our high-rise tower blocks. As well as removing the exterior cladding from the towers in Granville Road, the Housing Committee has agreed to oversee a programme of investment, based on advice from the London Fire Brigade, to provide added fire safety measures and reassurance to our residents in all of our high rise blocks. If sprinklers are needed, they will be fitted. We will continue to work closely with the London Fire Brigade and are ready to fully support any changes on fire safety advice.”

Granville Road tower blocks update

27 June 2017

Inspections at three tower blocks at Granville Road - Granville Point, Harpenmead Point and Templemead point - found use of similar exterior cladding panels (Aluminium Composite Material) as those reportedly used at Grenfell Tower. All local authorities with this type of exterior cladding panel were asked to submit them for fire safety testing.

Although the exterior cladding panels are similar to those reportedly used at Grenfell Tower, the insulation materials behind the exterior panels are different and made from a non-combustible mineral fibre material. In addition, fire stops have been installed at each floor level and around each window. The fire stops are also made of a non-combustible material. This mitigates the fire risk.

However the council and Barnet Homes made the joint decision to remove the exterior cladding panels, when similar panels on buildings used outside the borough failed fire safety tests. On Friday 23 June, Barnet Council received confirmation the panels from Granville Road had also failed fire safety testing.

On Saturday 24 June, Barnet Homes conducted further inspections of the three tower blocks on Granville Road, accompanied by officers from London Fire Brigade. Following these inspections, there were no additional fire safety concerns flagged.

Barnet Homes has instructed contractors to begin the process of removing the exterior cladding panels and insulation and are starting preliminary work at Granville Road this week.

Barnet Homes and Barnet Council attended the Granville Road Residents’ Association meeting on Thursday 29 June. Steve Leader, London Fire Brigade Borough Commander, was also present to offer advice and reassurance.

This meeting follows the inspections that took place last Saturday by Barnet Homes of the three tower blocks on Granville Road, where they were accompanied by officers from London Fire Brigade. Following these inspections, there were no additional fire safety concerns flagged.

Last night’s meeting was an opportunity to meet and hear local residents’ concerns in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire and to offer reassurance to residents that their safety is the number one priority.

Barnet Homes, Barnet Council and London Fire Brigade will continue to work with the residents’ association. We will provide regular updates on works as they progress.

While this work takes place additional fire safety measures have been put in place to reassure residents:

  • We will continue to carry out around the clock fire safety patrols on the estate to reassure residents and undertake enhanced fire safety checks
  • We will continue a sweep of corridors to make sure they are clear of obstructions and anything that is potentially flammable
  • We will continue to regularly assess fire doors in properties
  • We will provide fire safety advice to residents on an ongoing basis
  • An information point on Granville Road has been set up, which will be staffed by housing teams who will be on hand to advise residents over the coming days, and we will actively encourage residents with questions to come and talk to the team.

We understand that residents may be concerned and we will regularly keep you informed, and encourage people to come down to the information point if they have any questions.

London Fire Brigade fire safety advice for residents who live in high rise blocks:

  • Make an escape plan and make sure everyone knows how to get out safely
  • If there is smoke or fire inside your flat or maisonette and your escape route is clear: Get everyone out, close the door and walk calmly out of the building. Do not use the lift. Call 999, give your address, the number of your flat, and say which floor the fire is on
  • If there is smoke or fire inside your flat or maisonette and your escape route is NOT clear: It may be safer to stay in your flat or maisonette until the fire brigade arrives. Find a safe room, close the door and use soft materials to block the gap to stop the smoke. Go to a window, shout “HELP, FIRE” and call 999. Be ready to describe where you are and the quickest way to reach you. Windows above the first floor are not suitable to escape from due to risk of serious injury
  • If there is a fire in another part of the building: The structure of your building – walls, floors, doors – are designed to give you a minimum of 30-60 minutes’ protection from a fire, to enable you to remain in your flat while the fire brigade deal with the fire. If there is a fire elsewhere in your building you are usually safer to stay in your flat unless the heat and smoke from the fire is affecting you, in which case you can leave by the stairs if it is safe to do so. If it is not safe to leave and you do remain in your flat call 999 and let them know which flat you are in
  • If you are in communal areas of the building: leave and call 999.

More advice from the London Fire Brigade:

  • Make sure you have plenty of smoke alarms and test them regularly
  • Some buildings have mains powered smoke/heat detectors. If you have a mains-powered alarm which does not work, or beeps constantly, please contact Housing Direct on 0800 694 3344 to report it. Do not disable it – it is there for your safety
  • Make sure bikes and rubbish do not block communal exits or your escape routes
  • Keep balconies free of clutter. Please do not smoke in communal areas.
  • If you smoke, dispose of cigarette ends carefully
  • Candles, incense and oil burners are one of the biggest causes of fire within homes. Always keep an eye on them and keep them away from materials that may catch fire such as curtains, furniture, clothes and hair.

If you know or work with anyone who may have an increased risk of fire, who is less able to react or has a reduced ability to escape in the occurrence of a fire, please encourage them to book a fire safety check. These may include factors such as being a smoker, a hoarder, having an alcohol dependency or having mobility issues. Visit www.london-fire.com for advice for parents of young children and carers of elderly adults.

If you are a landlord looking for advice read London Fire Brigade advice for landlords

Find out more information on how to keep yourself safe from a fire if you live in a high rise or purpose built flats on the London Fire Brigade website.

 

 

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