Hendon Town Hall
Updated 13.00 Sunday 25 June
Yesterday Barnet Homes conducted further inspections of the three tower blocks on Granville Road, accompanied by officers from London Fire Brigade. As a result of these inspections we can confirm that there are no additional fire safety concerns.
Updated 22.30 Friday 23 June
Barnet has now had confirmation that the panels at Granville Road have failed fire safety testing.
Updated 11.30 Friday 23 June
A joint statement from Barnet Council and Barnet Homes
Barnet Council and Barnet Homes have decided to remove the cladding from three tower blocks in Granville Road, NW2, as a precautionary measure.
Councillor Richard Cornelius, Leader of Barnet Council, said: “In response to last week’s tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, resident safety is our number one priority.
“Following our inspections, we are clear that the overall cladding system at Granville Road is different to what media reports suggest was used at Grenfell Tower. 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.
“However, in the last days similar exterior cladding panels from buildings outside the borough have failed Government fire safety tests. While the difference in the cladding system at Granville Road mitigates the fire risk, we are not prepared to take any chances with the safety of residents and have therefore jointly taken the decision with Barnet Homes to remove the cladding on the three tower blocks as a precautionary measure.”
Terry Rogers, Chair of Barnet Homes, said: “We will be instructing our contractors to begin the process of removing the panels as a matter of urgency and we will provide further updates to our residents at Granville Road once timescales are known.
“In the meantime, to reassure residents, Barnet Homes is putting in place immediate actions. Around the clock fire safety patrols are already taking place on the estate, as well as undertaking enhanced fire safety checks. We have been sweeping corridors to make sure they are clear of obstructions and anything that is potentially flammable, and assessing fire doors in the blocks. An information point at 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 are actively encouraging residents with questions to come and talk to the team.
“We are also putting in arrangements to work with residents to enable them to test their white goods.”
Councillor Richard Cornelius, Leader of Barnet Council, said: “To ensure such a tragedy is not repeated in Barnet, we have a responsibility to our community to take action to ensure their safety.
“As well as removing the cladding, we will be calling on our Housing Committee to oversee a programme of investment in additional fire safety measures to ensure all of the borough’s 24 high rise tower blocks meet best practice, including consideration of sprinkler systems, improved fire and smoke alarm systems and other measures.
“We will continue to work closely with the London Fire Brigade and are ready to fully support any changes on fire safety advice.”
Barnet Homes has written to all residents in Granville Road tower blocks.
Steve Leader, Barnet Borough Commander, London Fire Bridge, said: “We are conducting joint visits to the three blocks at Granville Road with the council and will be visible to residents, who will be able to ask fire safety questions to firefighters.
“In addition, we will visit all premises identified to check the fire safety of the building and make sure that in the event of a fire, fire fighting facilities are all in place. The Brigade will also programme more in-depth inspections as part of an on-going process.
“The Brigade will check on all safety aspects, for example that fire doors are correctly fitted and self closing, and that escape routes are clear. Officers will also give advice to the housing provider on any immediate actions that need to be taken.
“The message to those living in high rise is that the only action you need to take is to make sure that you have normal fire safety measures in place, which include:
- Think about how to stop a fire in the first place, take care with cigarettes, cooking and candles, and check electrical products.
- Make sure you have a working smoke alarm in every room you regularly use as well as in the hallway,
- Make sure that fire doors are self closing.
- Clear escape routes and have an escape plan.”
Find out more information on how to keep yourself safe from a fire if you live in a high rise or purpose built flats.