Published on 30th June 2017

Picture of a white smoke alarm with red button

Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, the Government has identified buildings over six storeys high and clad in an Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) to be at risk.

Cheltenham Borough Homes (CBH) – which manages Cheltenham Borough Council’s (CBC) housing stock has confirmed that CBC does not own any buildings of this height or any that have ACM cladding.

The council has four 5 storey buildings in the borough; only three of these have cladding and this is quite different to the cladding used on Grenfell Tower.

Even though these blocks are not considered high risk, CBH are still proactively reviewing them and have been working with the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service to:

  • check smoke detectors and give general fire safety advice and reassurance to tenants
  • carry out new fire risk assessments
  • accelerate plans to install new emergency lighting in communal stairwells which will be undertaken within the next eight weeks.

CBH may carry out further assessments to be reassured of fire safety.

Cllr Peter Jeffries, cabinet member for housing said: “The safety of our tenants is of paramount importance to us. It’s important to note that the council does not own any high rise blocks nor does the council own any 1970s ‘system built’ blocks. There have been no reported concerns around the type of cladding used on our buildings.

“However, the tragedy at Grenfell Tower has highlighted the ongoing importance of fire safety and therefore we’re undertaking a range of safety assessments on a priority basis.”

Cheltenham residents can find useful information and advice on how they can best protect their families and homes from risk of fire on the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) website. If residents have any specific concerns, they can contact CBC’s building regulations services and private sector housing teams on 01242 262626.

The GFRS offer a free ‘safe and well’ visit on request to discuss all aspects of home safety and have a team of community safety advisors working across the county carrying out these visits and giving advice. To arrange a visit, contact the GFRS on 0800 180 41 40 or fill in the request form online. The visit and any smoke alarms required are offered free of charge.

Residents can help improve fire safety by taking the following simple steps:

1. Check smoke detectors each month (if you are a CBH tenant and don't think you have detectors or they don't work then please call 0800 408 000. CBH will prioritise a visit to you and fit new detectors or replace batteries free of charge).

2. Make sure you know what to do if your smoke alarm activates.

3. Keep communal stairwells clear and free from obstacles, clutter and combustibles. This is, after all, your means of exit in the event of a fire.

For press enquiries, contact Laura Carter, communications officer, on 01242 264154, email [email protected]