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Keeping our residents safe – Grenfell Tower

Following the recent fire at Grenfell Tower, we’d like to reassure residents on the measures we have in place to make sure our properties are as safe as possible.

All of our properties that have shared areas (such as stairwells and corridors) are regularly checked, inspected and assessed by specialists for fire risks. We work closely with the fire authorities to ensure that our buildings and procedures meet all statutory requirements and regulations.

When we carry out our reviews our checks include:

• Fire risk assessments
• Internal smoke detection equipment
• Having clear fire procedures in place

We’re taking extra precautions

Following the fire at Grenfell Tower, we’re carrying out an additional thorough review to make absolutely certain that we’ve taken all the precautions we can to keep people safe.

We’re currently reviewing fire safety at all of our properties that are six storeys or above. We’ll be writing to residents in these buildings with more specific information no later than the end of the week commencing 26 June 2017.

Cladding

We know that residents are particularly concerned to know whether any cladding used on properties is fire safe.

As with all of our other building materials, any cladding that’s been used meets current building regulations requirements and British standards. However, we are assessing all cladding as part of our review.

‘Stay put unless’ policy

Advice on how to react to a fire differs from property to property. In many cases the best advice is to ‘stay put unless’. This has received understandable scrutiny after the Grenfell House Fire. The London Fire Brigade provides context for this on its website.

In summary, if we’ve advised you to ‘stay put unless’, this is because there are safety measures in place to stop a fire spreading if it breaks out in your building. But if heat or smoke is affecting you, or if the fire breaks out inside your own flat, the advice is to leave the property and call 999 for the Fire Brigade explaining exactly where the fire is located within the building as well as the address.

If you’re not sure what the advice is for your particular building, please email us at contactcatalyst@chg.org.uk or phone us on 0300 456 2099

How you can help

Keep escape routes and communal areas clear so that there’s nothing in the way if people need to get out quickly – for example, buggies or bikes should not be left in corridors or stairwells.

We’ll be reissuing this advice to all residents in the coming weeks.

We regularly visit neighbourhoods to identify health and safety hazards and if any are left in a communal area, we will:

• Remove it immediately if it’s a high risk and obstructs escape routes
• Ask residents to remove other items by a certain date. If they have not been cleared by that date, we’ll either dispose of the items immediately or we may store them for a certain period of time to allow the owner to collect them

Please let us know if there are any items you believe are causing an obstruction.

Making vacant properties available

We’ve offered our support to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to help to rehouse residents who have lost their homes in the fire. We have given details of properties that we can make available, now and in the next few months. We’re working closely with the council to help match households to properties to ensure that we can meet housing need and keep people in the local area.

The response to support those affected by the fire has been overwhelmingly positive from both residents and our employees. We have provided over 100 pre-paid phones for those who have been displaced, our employees have provided physical support and a range of donations. Please continue to share your ideas, particularly our residents who live in Kensington, on ways you feel we can work alongside you to support the response.

Our promise to you

We’ll continue to keep you updated and share regular information with you to help keep you safe.

If you have any questions, please check Ask Catalyst or give us a ring on 0300 456 2099 and we’ll be happy to help.

This page was updated on 1 August 2017