Fire safety work – keeping our residents safe

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under News.

Following last week’s newsletter and our promise to keep customers informed, here is an update of the latest fire safety work we are doing in partnership with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

As stated in our newsletter, none of Gateshead Council’s properties have the same cladding used at the Grenfell Tower block.

We do, however, want to make sure that our cladding is fire resistant; therefore as a precaution we have taken the decision to undertake testing at:

  • Redheugh/Eslington Court – here we will be testing the insulated panel in the lower part of the windows.
  • Angel Court – here we will be testing the cladding.

Again as a precaution we have taken the decision to test the external finishes in a number of blocks:

  • Regent Court & St Cuthberts Court – here we will be testing the rendered insulation that was fitted around the blocks in 1996/97
  • Harlow Green multi-storeys (Acomb, Bedale, Willerby, Ripley, Barford, Stretford) – here we will be testing the metal sheet cladding
  • Barnes Close blocks (Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane).– here we will be testing the metal sheet cladding.

Due to the volume of tests now being carried out nationally, unfortunately we cannot give a date as to when the tests will come back, as this is out of our control.

We will also be carrying out inspections of all multi-storey blocks to check the fire compartmentation remains in place, and in the coming weeks we will check every element of the blocks, including doors, fire stops and alarms.

This work is in addition to the regular health and safety checks carried out by caretakers in our high-rise blocks and by scheme managers in our sheltered accommodation.  

We want our customers to be safe, and to feel safe in their home. We have sent this information as a letter to all multi-storey and Angel Court residents to offer reassurance that we are not being complacent and that resident safety is our priority. 

In the event of a fire

We operate a ‘stay put’ policy in the event of a fire.

Our multi-storey blocks and sheltered units are ‘compartmentalised’ so that fires are contained for a period of time, meaning that it may be safer to ‘stay put’ in your own flat rather than moving to another area of the building.

This gives the fire service time to arrive, bring the fire under control, and manage a safe and controlled block evacuation under their direction.

If, however, residents feel they would be safer leaving the block before the fire service arrives, they should leave by the safest route, avoiding use of the lifts.

If any of our customers have concerns they can contact us:

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