High-rise tower blocks made safe from risk of fire

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WORK has been completed to make 23 Sheffield tower blocks safer if fire breaks out.

Sheffield Homes’ contractor Kier has made changes to apartments’ door frames, adding extra seals to ensure they are less likely to be penetrated by smoke. It has fitted reinforced doors which are more fire-resistant.

Signs have been put up and advice given to residents reminding them to stay in their flats if fire breaks out and wait for the fire brigade.

Bosses at Sheffield Homes said the work has already helped ensure hundreds of residents were unhurt during two recent fires in high-rise tower blocks in Stannington and Upperthorpe.

The biggest risk when fire breaks out in tower blocks is from smoke spreading quickly through the building.

The company’s health and safety manager, Gary Lund, said: “Our new policy of residents ‘staying put’ in their homes has already proved successful during two incidents in the city.

“We are pleased the new improvements have already made such a positive impact on the lives of our residents.

“Fire safety is an extremely important issue and we hope to continue making improvements to help save lives and keep people safe.”

Kier is now carrying out further, similar, safety improvements to 20 low-rise sheltered housing blocks across the city.

All the fire safety work is due to be completed next month.