Cartrefi Conwy reassures tenants after tower block fire tragedy

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A housing association has acted to reassure its tenants in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

Cartrefi Conwy are visiting tenants and have posted a message on their Facebook page and website to confirm that none of the cladding at the centre of the investigation in London has been used on any of their properties.

Cartrefi Conwy Tenants’ Conference
‘New, Different, Better’ at Venue Cymru, Llandudno.
Gwynne Jones, Director of Operations

They also point out that their tallest building is only five storeys high and that they have some others that are four storeys high.

In addition, they have reminded tenants about what steps they can take to prevent fires and stay safe in their homes.

Tenant liaison officers will also continue to visit tenants in homes with external wall improvements with their main contractors to offer reassurance.

Cartrefi Conwy is the only housing association in North Wales which has a home fire safety officer, Carol Richards, from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service seconded to them full-time.

Carol is training a range of their staff carry out home safety checks with tenants.

Managing director Gwynne Jones said: “Our thoughts go out to every person affected by the terrible events at Grenfell Tower Block in West London.

“News such as this only highlights the importance of fire safety in our homes, in order that we safeguard our customers and their families.

“The safety and well-being of our tenants is always our paramount priority, something that has been underlined by the fact that Cartrefi Conwy has received a gold award from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents for the sixth year running.

“We also work closely in partnership with the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and one of their home fire safety officers is seconded to us full time.

“We would like our customers to be firmly reassured that all possible fire safety measures are in place to prevent the spread of fire in all of our homes and workplaces.

 

“It is worth noting that none of Cartrefi Conwy’s residential housing blocks are classified as tower blocks. Our tallest building is only five storeys high and we also have some four storeys high properties.

 

“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 use the same type of cladding as Grenfell. Our systems consist of an external wet rendered coating as opposed to a cladding panel system.

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

“We will be visiting as many tenants as possible with our main contractors and our tenant liaison officers to reassure them that their safety is our paramount concern and that the materials used conform with all the latest fire safety standards and building regulations.

“All of Cartrefi Conwy’s homes and buildings have fire risk assessments in place. Our Fire Risk Assessment Programme was developed in conjunction with North Wales Fire and Rescue Service.The home fire safety officer seconded to us from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service carries out Home Safety Checks throughout all of our properties.

“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 within our flat accommodation that have had 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 – the good weather may tempt you to keep them open, but in the interests of fire safety, they must be closed at all times.
  • Never prop fire doors open – they should be closed to prevent the spread of fire
  • Immediately report any defects or damage to fire doors so we can fix them
  • Communal areas must be kept clear of obstacles and rubbish
  • No flammable materials should be kept either in communal areas or in homes – this includes flammable liquids, gasoline, LPG, gas cylinders, BBQs, bio-ethanol burners, or anything with naked flames

Mr Jones added: “If any of our customers have particular vulnerabilities that are a concern in the event of a fire, I would urge them to let us know immediately so that we can work with them to develop a personal evacuation plan.

“Our expert team can put this together with them. We can also arrange for a Home Safety Check with our Home Fire Safety Officer to further prevent the risk of fire and improve safety in their home.”

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