Conwy housing association reassures residents in wake of London Grenfell Tower tragedy

Reporter:

Annie Roberts

A HOUSING association has reassured residents after concerns that their block of flats were being re-clad with the same material used on the ill-fated Grenfell Tower in London which was devastated by fire last week.

Residents living in the flats on Ffordd Penrhyn near Asda in Llandudno have questioned Cartrefi Conwy over the type of material being used for the current external wall modifications following the blaze on June 14 that has so far claimed 79 lives.

The cause of the Grenfell fire has not yet been confirmed but there has been speculation the external cladding may have fuelled the flames.

However, Cartrefi Conwy have stressed the products being used on the current remodelling work are not the same as those used on the London tower block.

A spokesman for Cartrefi Conwy said: “In light of the speculation surrounding the extent of the Grenfell tower block fire being linked to recent external wall improvements, we would like to stress that none of Cartrefi Conwy’s external wall insulation is the same type of cladding as Grenfell.

“All our external wall improvement works conform to building regulations with the insulation material used being of low-risk fire rating and certified under the British Board of Agreement technical approval.” 

Resident Julie Williams, who is disabled, said the situation was ‘very worrying’ as she fears she would be stuck in her top floor flat if a fire were to start.

She said: “On Friday I was very concerned as to what product they were putting up on the walls outside my flat. 

“It was being said it was the same product used on the flats in London. I went onto Facebook where people all over the country were expressing their worries too.

“Since then Cartrefi Conwy have issued a statement to say it is not the same product but have not named theirs yet. 

“It is very worrying as I’m disabled and live on the top floor. I worry that if something were to happen, I would be stuck up here.” 

The Cartrefi Conwy spokesman added that all of its buildings had ‘robust’ fire risk assessments in place.

“We have a dedicated fire safety officer who is seconded from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service,” the spokesman said. 

“She is currently working with a range of our staff to train them to do home safety checks with our tenants. 

“We also work with leading industry experts to ensure all our fire safety policies and procedures are the best they can be.

“We will continue to visit all our tenants where we have carried out external wall improvement works over the last 12 months to answer any questions and allay any worries they might have.

“But we would like to remind all our tenants that there are many steps that we are all responsible for to help prevent fires and stay safe in our homes. 

“These include: always keep fire doors closed; never prop fire doors open; immediately report any defects or damage to fire doors so we can fix them; communal areas must be kept clear of obstacles and rubbish and no flammable materials should be kept either in communal areas or in homes.

“We would urge any of our tenants that have any worries or concerns to get in touch by phoning 0300 1240040.”

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