Safety teams from Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service (NFRS) say they are confident about the safety of the county’s residents as they continue to carry out building checks across Norfolk.
Since the Grenfell Tower fire in London, NFRS has worked closely with other agencies to carry out safety checks at high-rise tower blocks, mid-rise blocks and other buildings including commercial premises, schools and hospitals.
They have also been advising the public on fire prevention measures that can be taken, such as fitting smoke alarms and keeping exits and corridors clear.
The initial response to the Grenfell Tower disaster was to swiftly check all residential buildings in Norfolk that were more than 18 metres high – nine tower blocks in Norwich and one in King’s Lynn. All were found to be compliant.
Checks were then carried out at all mid-rise blocks, including Brennan Bank in Norwich, which failed fire safety checks due to its cladding. The risks at Brennan Bank have been assessed and there are currently extra measures in place to reduce fire risk, with a range of more permanent control measures being considered.
The fire protection work continues to expand from residential buildings to commercial premises where NFRS are currently working through a list of more than 100 buildings in the county which will be given an extra fire safety check.
Garry Collins, NFRS’s Head of Fire Protection and Prevention, said: “The Grenfell Tower incident has given us a heightened area of focus and we have looked at and reviewed the risk in buildings across Norfolk as a result. The safety of Norfolk’s communities is at the fore front of our work and these building health checks have been valuable in confirming our building safety across our county. We are not resting on our laurels since we completed the initial residential checks and are now heavily focused on ensuring the safety of commercial buildings, with the full support of all partners.
"Members of the public can help to reduce these fire risks by taking measures in their homes such as installing smoke alarms and testing them weekly- statistics show residents are more than twice as likely to die in a house fire if a smoke alarm is not fitted. A smoke alarm provides a prompt early warning while a fire is in the early stages of development."
NFRS offers home fire safety visits to residents to look at practical ways to reduce fire risks, plan an escape route and check the safety of homes. To arrange one call 0800 917 8137.
Anyone who is concerned about criminal activity which could lead to a fire can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.