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Joint statement by Colchester Borough Council and Colchester Borough Homes in response to the Grenfell Tower Fire

20th June 17

We are deeply shocked and saddened by the fire at Grenfell Tower, and we extend our sympathies to all of those affected by this terrible tragedy.

We recognise that tenants will be naturally concerned to know their safety is a major priority and that we are committed to upholding the highest safety standards across all of Colchester Borough Council's properties. We can confirm that we have no high rise properties like Grenfell Tower in our housing stock.

It is too early at this stage in the Fire Brigade's investigation to establish the cause of the Grenfell Tower blaze and how the fire was able to spread so quickly. There has been a focus on the role of external cladding in the spread of the fire and we can confirm that we have no homes clad in this way.

We will of course take nothing for granted and are already going above and beyond the Government's latest guidance regarding safety checks on our properties. We will also act upon any further safety recommendations that follow the outcome of the fire investigation and future Public Inquiry.

Colchester Borough Council and Colchester Borough Homes would like to reassure all of our tenants, and the public, that our safety officers undertake rigorous checks of our properties as part of a robust safety inspection regime.

These fire safety measures include:

· all properties (flats and houses) fitted with working smoke detectors that are tested yearly as part of an annual servicing programme

· Smoke detectors fitted in common areas in all sheltered accommodation

· Emergency lighting in common stairwells, which are subject to regular tests, and

· Regular inspection and assessment of fire risk in all communal areas in blocks of flats.

 

Our tenants will also be reassured to know that we work very closely with the Essex Fire and Rescue Service to minimise fire risk in our properties.

Our continuing advice to residents to help stay safe is:

· Check your smoke alarm is working every month

· Keep balconies clear and free from clutter

· Communal areas are escape routes, keep them clear of objects which might prohibit access

· Make sure you know where your nearest fire exit is and what to do if there is a fire inside your home or somewhere else in the building.

· Do not smoke in common areas of the block

· If you are smoking in your home, always fully extinguish cigarettes and dispose of them carefully and safely.

If you have any specific concerns about where you live please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at: info@cbhomes.org.uk.

Residents of sheltered accommodation or their family may wish to speak with their Visiting Officer, if they have any concerns.

Further fire safety advice is available at: www.essex-fire.gov.uk