Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower, we want to reassure our residents that we are doing everything possible to make sure you and your home are safe.

In response to the fire, we have done the following:

  • We have reviewed all our fire risk assessments and they are currently up to date. We visit sheltered housing schemes and tower blocks over six storeys high once a year to review fire safety.
  • We are working closely with the fire brigade, jointly reviewing individual sites where necessary.
  • We are giving smoke alarms to residents who don’t already have one.
  • Wherever possible, we will aim to replicate new-build fire safety standards, such as sprinkler systems, in our existing tower blocks.
  • We will consider all possible methods of mitigating fire risk – cost will not, and never has been, a barrier to providing the most appropriate solution.

We also need the help of our residents to keep the estates where you live safe. James Carpenter, our principal health and safety advisor, has advice for residents about how to stay safe.

“Firstly, residents must not keep any of their belongings in the communal areas of their buildings,” he says.

“Also, our residents are our eyes and ears and we need them to report any damage to fire doors or doors on stairwells,” says James. “Please look out for unlocked meter cupboards or people storing barbeques on balconies as these could be fire risks.”

East Thames can offer better help if we know of issues residents may face in an emergency. “If you know someone who might not be able to escape from a fire because they are frail or disabled, please inform your property manager.”

Steps you can take to make sure you and your home are safe from fire:

Fire alarms:

  • Fit at least one alarm on every level of your home
  • If you don’t have a smoke alarm, get in touch – we will give you one
  • Test your alarms every month unless they are fitted with ten-year or sealed batteries
  • It is better to use a heat detector in the kitchen rather than a DIY smoke alarm as they can be set off by steam in kitchens and bathrooms. Where hard-wired detectors are installed, there should be one per floor, in the hallway and landing.

Smoking:

  •  Never smoke in bed
  •  Make sure your cigarette is put out and disposed of properly
  •  Use proper ashtrays which can’t tip over easily.

Cooking:

  •  Don’t leave cooking unattended
  •  Loose clothing can easily catch fire so don’t lean over a hot hob
  •  Always check the hob is turned off when you finish cooking.

Candles:

  • Make sure you put out candles or incense burners before you go to bed
  • Place tea lights and candles in heat-resistant holders
  • Keep tea lights and candles away from flammable materials such as curtains.

Electrics:

  • Make sure all appliances have a British or European safety mark
  • Try to keep to one plug per socket and don’t overload adapters if you use them
  • Always switch off hair straighteners and leave them on a heatproof surface.

Storage:

  • Always keep communal areas free from buggies, bikes, furniture, rubbish or anything that could help fire to spread or slow down someone’s escape from the building
  • Keep balconies clutter free and don’t use them to store flammable materials.

Boilers:

  • It is important to have your boiler serviced annually to make sure it is safe
  • Please make sure you allow access to our technicians when requested so that they can carry out the service.

Doors

  • Front entrance doors to flats in our blocks are fire rated. Please ask permission and get advice before changing any doors.

For more advice please visit your local Fire and Rescue Service’s website or the London Fire Brigade’s website at:www.london-fire.gov.uk