Safety checks to be carried out in Sheffield tower blocks

Tower blocks in Sheffield
Tower blocks in Sheffield
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Additional safety checks are to be carried out in Sheffield's tower blocks in the wake of the Grenfell Tower blaze in London last week.

The checks will be carried out from today by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue officers as part of a risk assessment.

Sheffield Council, which owns the blocks, said fire service checks are carried out on a regular basis but extra have been organised following the blaze which is feared to have killed 79residents.

The council said housing staff also carry out checks in the towers on a daily basis.

Councillor Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety at Sheffield Council, said: “We know people might be worried if they live in a tower block and, while we don't yet know why this terrible fire happened, I think it would reassure residents to know that the fire service will be conducting a risk assessment of all our tower blocks.

“This is purely precautionary. I also want to reassure people that the type of cladding used at Grenfell Tower, which is currently the source of such speculation, is categorially not used in any properties in Sheffield. All of our cladding is fire proof.

“We have also contacted tenants to remind them of our fire safety advice. Although we don’t yet know the cause of this tragic fire, we want to do all we can to ensure that our tower blocks here in Sheffield are safe.

"Once we know the reasons for disaster, if we need to change any arrangements to keep tenants safe then we will.”

Twenty one of Sheffield Council's 24 tower blocks have metal cladding, which fire investigators in London are looking at to establish why the Grenfell blaze spread so quickly.

A council spokeswoman said: "This is fire proof as the insulation is mineral and rock wool, with fire breaks at the floor and party walls.

"This creates a fireproof box around each flat to the external structure to prevent the spread of fire to other flats. The other three are brickwork-clad and designed to operate in the same way as the other 21 but in these cases have a separate metal fire barrier installed."