LESSONS need to be learned from the Grenfell Tower tragedy say council chiefs in Warwick district.
The fire in the West London tower block on June 14 last year claimed 72 lives. An independent public inquiry is currently examining the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the fire.
Warwick District Council has seven residential high-rise blocks – Eden Court, Southorn Court, Ashton Court, Christine Ledger Square, Radcliffe Gardens, Stamford Gardens and Westbrook House – which are all in Leamington.
While the blocks had always met high safety standards, and none had the same controversial cladding as installed at Grenfell, the council was quick to undertake a series of extra fire prevention measures in the wake of the tragedy.
They included increasing the frequency of inspections for fire hazards, which now take place daily, the upgrade of communal fire alarm systems, and reinforcing fire-resistance within the blocks to prevent fires spreading.
And in March the council began a £2.5million fire safety improvement programme for all its high-rise blocks.
The work, which started at Radcliffe Gardens on Brunswick Street, will provide every flat with a new 60 minute fire-resistant door, and also see the replacement of all communal and storage cupboard doors to further increase protection from fire.
The buildings will also benefit from new smoke venting to the stairwells, sprinkler systems in the bin stores, upgraded emergency lighting, and new smoke alarms in all individual flats.
The improvements, which are due to be completed across all the blocks by summer 2019, are being made free of charge to all council tenants and private leaseholders.
The council has also been reinforcing advice to residents to ensure communal areas are kept free of fire risks and obstructions. Residents are also being encouraged to report any repairs or issues in homes or communal areas as soon as spotted.
District housing spokesman Coun Peter Phillips said: “A year on from the tragic events at Grenfell Tower, as we remember the victims and the survivors affected by this terrible event, there are lessons to be learned by all landlords in the wake of this tragedy and Warwick District Council is no exception.”
The council is keeping abreast of the Grenfell inquiry and will continue to work with Warwickshire Fire and Rescue to review arrangements along with any advice given and lessons learned.