Firefighters in Hampshire inspecting 237 high-rise buildings after Grenfell Tower disaster

Cladding being removed from Horatia House and Leamington House.

Picture: Sarah Standing
Cladding being removed from Horatia House and Leamington House. Picture: Sarah Standing

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More than 100 high-rise buildings have been inspected by firefighters in Hampshire after the Grenfell Tower disaster.

The fire service has visited 237 such buildings as part of an inspection programme.

A report for a Hampshire Fire Authority meeting this morning said the fire service is inspecting high-rise buildings where government has identified cladding is a concern, high-rises with no cladding, where a health care inspection plan found cladding is a concern, and where education establishments have cladding that is a concern.

So far 111 of 237 high-rise buildings have been inspected.

As reported, Portsmouth City Council is removing cladding from Horatia House and Leamington House in Somers Town after it failed safety tests.

The Grenfell Tower disaster in London claimed at least 80 lives.

Of those 15 had aluminium cladding identified by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Around 25 with cladding concerns have been inspected by a fire engineer and 15 with the fire service and an engineer.

Six NHS buildings have been found to have cladding, with two inspected out of 42 buildings that may have cladding.

A spokeswoman at QA Hospital previously said the hospital does not have the same cladding as that used at Grenfell.

And work is underway to assess 706 schools in Hampshire County Council’s area to see if they are over four storeys and have aluminium cladding.

The report said: ‘Our experience in Hampshire over recent years is that we have had several fires in these types of building and these fires have behaved as we would expect, with the fire remaining in the compartment it started in and not affecting other areas directly.

‘The reason fires in these incidents have behaved as expected is attributable to several factors, but the overriding factors being that the building has been planned, designed, constructed and then maintained to keep the integrity of the fire engineering features.’

The report added: ‘In direct response to providing a high level of community reassurance, stations in Portsmouth and Southampton have provided drop in sessions for concerned residents.

‘Crews have been visible at all residential high-rise buildings, offering reassurance around remaining safe in High Rise buildings and preventing fires from starting.’

And the report confirms that the predetermined attendance to any high-rise fire call has increased to eight appliances, as previously reported in The News.