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23 June 2017
Local authorities have been issued with a list of instructions which must be actioned "immediately" following the Grenfell Tower fire, reports Sky News.
As homes across the country are checked for combustible cladding, the Permanent Secretary at the Communities Department, Melanie Dawes, has written to chief executives of local authorities and housing associations, detailing the procedure they should follow.
In her letter, Ms Dawes sets out the actions that must be taken if insulation within cladding "is unlikely to be compliant with the requirements" of current building regulations.
"These interim mitigating measures must immediately be implemented to ensure the safety of residents, pending replacement of the cladding," she said.
The measures include:
- Inform your local fire and rescue service fire safety/protection department. Failure to do so may put firefighters as well as residents at risk.
- Check that the fire risk assessment has been carried out within the previous 12 months and that the recommendations within the action plan of the assessment have been completed
- If no fire risk assessment has been carried out, you must immediately arrange for a fire risk assessment to be carried out by a competent person.
- Engage with residents to ensure they fully understand the emergency fire procedures in the building, particularly the meaning of "stay put". Ensure that fire procedure notices are accurate.
- Check that, at ground level, or on any balconies, there are no combustible materials (eg storage of refuse) in the vicinity of the cladding.
- Check that all flat entrance doors, and doors that open onto escape corridors and stairways, are fire-resisting and effectively self-closing against any resistance of a latch
- Check all walls that separate flats, plant and store rooms etc from escape routes to ensure there are no obvious routes for fire or smoke spread (eg holes where services, such as pipes and cables, pass through walls).
- Check that any smoke control systems, including associated fire-detection systems, are operating correctly.
- Residents to be advised to ensure all smoke alarms are present and working in their flat
- Provision of a temporary communal fire alarm system, comprising smoke detectors in circulation areas and plant rooms, and fire detectors