Grenfell tragedy: Fife Council reassures its residents over fire safety concerns

The Ravenscraig flats in Kirkcaldy are among 12 multi-storey blocks that Fife Council have issued reassurances about.
The Ravenscraig flats in Kirkcaldy are among 12 multi-storey blocks that Fife Council have issued reassurances about.

Fife Council has reassured its tenants living in high rise flats across the region that fire safety remains its ‘top priority’ following the Grenfell Flats tragedy in London on Tuesday.

John Mills, head of Housing Services has sought to reassure concerned tenants and residents within the council’s 12 multi-storey blocks in Fife, following the London tower block fire that has already claimed 17 lives, with the death toll expected to continue to rise.

In a statement delivered today to councillors by Steve Grimmond, chief executive, paid tribute families and friends of loved ones affected by the tragedy in London, before detailing the Fife authority’s commitment to safety.

“We cannot, as yet, have confirmation of the cause of the fire, or why the fire accelerated so quickly to the rest of the block,” said Mr Grimmond.

“This will come in due course from the Fire Authorities in London.

“I can reassure our tenants and residents that fire safety is our top priority for any of our houses, and particularly in our multi-storey flats.

“In the multi-storey flats, we carry out at least annual fire inspections and safety checks, working with Fire Scotland.

“The last inspections were successfully completed between August and December 2016.”

And following fears that the external cladding may have been a major contributory factor in determining how quickly the fire spread throughout the 24 floor Grenfell Flats, Mr Grimmond said the council was confident that its fire safety procedures and over cladding specifications remain safe.

He said: “To further reassure tenants and residents, we have agreed to start a review of our specification for future projects, and this will include a review of the existing over cladding that has been used in Fife.

“We will issue information updates as this review is taken forward.”

The three 18-storey Ravenscraig flats in Kirkcaldy were among those refurbished in 2014, with a thermal external wall cladding system added to improve the energy efficiency and the external appearance of the 1960s high-rise tower blocks.