Like many others, we were horrified by the tragic events in London six months ago. In the months following the tragedy, we have taken swift action to ensure the safety of our high-rise residents and have cooperated fully with the government on the subsequent tests on cladding, as well as working closely with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.
Below is an update on the activity that we have undertaken and where we are with our fire safety programme for high-rise buildings:
We immediately put in place a 24/7 waking watch in all of our high-rise buildings, undertook inspections with the fire service and commissioned a specialist fire safety company to undertake in-depth (type 3 and type 4) Fire Risk Assessments across all of our high-rise blocks. These assessments are now complete and we have a programme of remedial activity in progress to address any issues identified.
We also made the immediate decision to install fire alarms across all of these blocks. The alarms will be installed and operational in communal areas in all blocks, as we promised, before Christmas. In addition, our on site caretakers have visited residents to check smoke alarms in their homes. To ensure residents are kept fully informed, we have held a series of drop-in sessions and have provided regular updates.
In the days following the Grenfell tragedy, we removed sections of ACM cladding from low level areas of several of our blocks, while we awaited further advice. We have worked with our appointed contractor and our specialist fire safety advisers to determine a suitable cladding replacement for the affected blocks and are finalising a replacement programme of works which will commence in January. We will be briefing residents in each individual block in early January, advising them of the full programme and when work will be taking place on their block.
We are also making preparations to fit sprinkler systems across all of our high-rise blocks. As each block is different, we are taking advice and will be consulting with residents on the best sprinkler solution for each building before we commit to a full programme of fit-out work which is likely to be in 2019.