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Cladding Inspections
written by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue on the 09th November 2017 at 14:27

Following the Grenfell Tower fire in June and our high rise reassurance visits, during November we are carrying out a number of visits to student and high rise accommodation within Newcastle. The high rise blocks which will be visited have been identified as those having Aluminium Composite Mineral (ACM) or other combustible cladding. Our Fire Safety team, Operational Crews and Prevention team will be engaging with residents and landlords to ensure the improved fire safety measures within each of these blocks are appropriate for the increased risk presented by the combustible cladding. The aim is to conduct joint visits to review and update risk information with the landlord/owner and provide fire safety advice to the occupants with the following objectives: to assess compliance under the Fire Safety Order's legal safety requirements and any interim measures which were put in place by the landlord/owner due to the identified cladding risk. Keith Carruthers, Area Manager – Community Safety Commented: “We believe that these inspections will help to better inform our current understanding of how landlords are managing properties with combustible cladding and we can also update our records, so that our operational crews will have greater knowledge of the fire safety arrangements within the properties.” Operational Crews will be reviewing firefighter risk information, to ensure they are fully aware of what procedures should be adopted if a fire were to occur in this type of block. Operational Crews will familiarise themselves with the fire safety features installed in the premises, whilst Fire Safety staff will provide support and advice on its operation and function where necessary. Fire Safety will be reporting back our findings to the landlord/owner as well as to the National Fire Chiefs Council. Our Prevention team will provide fire safety advice to residents in the high rise accommodation and fire safety advice to students through engagement sessions at each block. We have been monitoring these premises on a regular basis since they were identified as having combustible cladding and have, where necessary, implemented interim measures to ensure the safety of the residents. These visits are a chance for all parties to ensure the interim measures are still appropriate and also to speak to and listen to resident's concerns.
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