Fire safety and guidance following the Grenfell Tower tragedy

Following the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in London earlier this month, Cambridge City Council is reassuring tenants and residents that there are no council-owned properties of similar size or construction to Grenfell Tower.

What the council is doing:

  • The government asked the council to identify any of its own high-rise properties (taller than six storeys or 18 metres) which have been clad externally with insulating materials. The council has two blocks of this size. Hanover Court is constructed of brick and concrete, with no cladding or insulation external to the building. Scholar’s Court is a recently-constructed brick building with a small amount of cladding. It meets all current building regulations, and it has been confirmed that the cladding used in its construction is of a Class 0 rating (the lowest rating), and is not of a type that requires testing under the government guidelines issued after the Grenfell Tower fire.
  • The two other council-owned blocks more than three storeys high – Kingsway Flats and Princess Court – are also constructed of brick and concrete with no external cladding.
  • The council has also been reviewing fire safety at its low-rise communal blocks of three storeys, and any cladding used has been confirmed as having a ‘Class 0’ (lowest risk) fire rating. To date, no concerns have been expressed about the safety of this form of cladding. 
  • The council is liaising with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and is also keeping the Department for Communities and Local Government updated of its findings regarding fire safety and the use of cladding on buildings in Cambridge.
  • All registered landlords in Cambridge are being contacted to let them know that if they have any concerns about cladding used in their properties, samples can be sent for testing to the Buildings Research Establishment. The Department for Communities and Local Government have issued a letter for owners, landlords and managers of private residences to ensure that they are aware of the help that is available in checking their buildings.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service have also issued the following update for high rise residents following the Grenfell Tower fire.

Since the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service’s fire protection team have been proactively visiting high rise accommodation across the county to provide fire safety information and carry out checks.

So far the team has visited around 40 blocks of flats, checking communal areas such as stairwells and exit routes and in some cases auditing the fire risk assessments, which the premises owner is required to produce under fire safety legislation. Read the full statement from Cambridge Fire and Rescue Service here.

Fire safety business seminars

The Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service runs regular workshops to help businesses better understand and conform to fire safety legislation relevant to their trade and the premises in which theyoperate.

By attending a business seminar, your business will be supported in putting together a comprehensive fire risk assessment, totally free of charge, to help protect it from fire and ensure business continuity.

Attendance should provide you with a better understanding of your responsibilities under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) and guide you through the process of conducting a fire risk assessment.

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