16 June 2017
Additional safety checks are set to begin in council tower blocks in Sheffield following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London.
The checks will be carried out from Monday 19 June by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue officers, who already assess the buildings on a regular basis. This is in addition to the daily checks carried out in all buildings by housing staff.
Councillor Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety at Sheffield City Council, said: “We know people might be worried if they live in a tower block and, while we don’t yet know why this terrible fire happened, I think it would reassure residents to know that the fire service will be conducting a risk assessment of all our tower blocks.
“This is purely precautionary. I also want to reassure people that the type of cladding used at Grenfell Tower, which is currently the source of such speculation, is categorially not used in any properties in Sheffield. All of our cladding is fire proof.
“We have also contacted tenants to remind them of our fire safety advice. Although we don’t yet know the cause of this tragic fire, we want to do all we can to ensure that our tower blocks here in Sheffield are safe.
“Once we know the reasons for disaster, if we need to change any arrangements to keep tenants safe then we will.”
The fire service will lead these new checks.
Twenty one of council’s 24 tower blocks have metal cladding. This is fire proof as the insulation is mineral and rock wool, with fire breaks at the floor and party walls. This creates a fire-proof box around each flat to the external structure to prevent the spread of fire to other flats. The other three are brickwork-clad and designed to operate in the same way as the other 21 but in these cases have a separate metal fire barrier installed.