Fire safety improvement works to start soon

An independent review of tower blocks owned by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) has recommended a number of fire safety improvements.

NIHE has 33 tower blocks in Northern Ireland and four of them either have, or are getting new cladding.

The report said the material is not the same as that in Grenfell and the work is compliant with building regulations.

However, "issues relating to fire doors" were identified in all 33 NIHE tower blocks, according to Prof Alasdair Adair, who led the review.

He told BBC News NI that some parts of the four clad tower blocks lacked "proper ventilation".

"Also, in relation to the pyramidal roofs on three of the tower blocks - there wasn't adequate ventilation of smoke that would enter the pyramidal roof, so there needs to be a remediation there," Prof Adair added.

The review also suggested that NIHE consider installing sprinklers in all towers "to give greater confidence to residents".

NIHE has already acted upon some of the safety recommendations, according to its interim chair, Prof Peter Roberts.

"We are currently addressing additional issues relating to fire safety measures which require prompt action," he said.

Prof Roberts added that "the health and safety of residents has always been a priority for the Housing Executive".

The public housing body said it will put safety ahead of resource, regardless of cost.

No timescale has been set to finish the recommended work but the NIHE said remedial measures will be completed as soon as possible.

Original source