Over three quarters of tower blocks in Greater Manchester, UK, fall below fire safety standards
The UK was rocked after recent inspections of residential high rises in Greater Manchester, which were done after the destruction of the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017, found that over 75% of high rises didn’t meet the required fire safety standards.
According to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), out of the 489 tower blocks that were inspected, only 117 were “broadly compliant” with the regulations.
The figures were released after a Freedom of Information request by former fire safety officer Phil Murphy.
Immediately after the discovery, GMFRS stated that the majority of the failing tower blocks now had “actions plans”.
The compliance inspections in question were carried out across all the tower blocks in Greater Manchester, in order to figure out whether the cladding or other building materials that were used posed any possible safety issues as a result of Grenfell, where 71 people died.
GMFRS head of protection Jim Hutton said the fire service had taken “swift action to reassure local residents and take steps to ensure their homes are safe”.
“Where issues have been identified, landlords and building owners have worked with GMFRS to put in place a plan to address these.”
In addition, Hutton said that out of the failing blocks, 66 had received “notification of deficiencies”, two were the subject of enforcement notices, four were under 60ft (18m) high and not classed as high rises, one had a “pending” inspection and the remainder were the subject of “action plans”.
As such, Hutton added that the GMFRS were now “revisiting residential high rise buildings where interim measures and action plans are in place and providing support”.
Finally, Hutton also stated that just because a block has an action plan “doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t comply with fire regulations”, as it could possibly mean that GMFRS has “requested a review of the fire risk assessment” or asked for more information about “what type of cladding system is installed on the building”.