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Fire safety

New front doors

About 17,000 homes are to be fitted with new or upgraded front doors as part of the Council’s multi-million pound investment proposals which are set to improve resident safety and reduce fire risks.

The majority of tenants and leaseholders living in flats in tower blocks of 6 storeys and higher are to be given more fire-resistant doors in order to bring homes up to current building regulations that state flat front doors must provide 30 minutes’ fire and smoke protection.

Metal gates

We’re aware that a large number of residents still have metal gates on their flat entrance doors. These gates could potentially prevent quick evacuation in the event of a fire. However, it’s been a long standing practice to only enforce removal of gates where they present an identified danger to other residents of the block, rather than just the occupants of the flat in question. We’ve nonetheless taken steps to warn residents that their gates may compromise their safety in the event of a fire, and we’ve advised that they should be removed.

Our current practice is to only enforce removal of gates if there is a recommendation in the block’s fire risk assessment to do so. If this is the case in your block, we’ll write to you asking you to remove your gate and explaining why. If you don’t comply, we will remove the gate and you may be charged.

In addition to this, we are commissioning a large scale door replacement programme designed to ensure that all flat front doors meet current fire safety standards. This programme will be rolled out over a number of years. As part of this work, it’s inevitable that a large number of the remaining gates will need to be removed. As the new door specification will provide residents with a high level of security, we’re hoping that residents will not feel the need to re-fit their metal gates.

Fire safety review

Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in Kensington, we launched a comprehensive fire safety review to ensure the safety of residents living in council estates.

We completed an immediate inspection within 48 hours of the fire, and it was confirmed that no council housing in Hackney uses the same type of cladding that was installed on Grenfell Tower.

However, on the recommendation of the London Fire Brigade, we decided to remove polystyrene cladding from 4 of our buildings – the 3 blocks at Lincoln Court and Hugh Gaitskill.

Our fire safety review also included:

  • independent testing of all cladding installed on Hackney housing estates
  • additional fire risk assessments for priority blocks
  • rigorous checks on all fire safety equipment within the buildings, including fire doors
  • reviewing appropriate completed refurbishment or maintenance work
  • investigating problems or issues raised by residents promptly with repairs or other work carried out were necessary
  • commissioning a report from an independent fire safety advisor on whether sprinklers would improve fire safety in estates
  • reviewing fire safety guidance for tower blocks in partnership with the London Fire Brigade

What we’ve done so far

  • inspected all Council estates using an independent expert Cladtech Associates which confirmed that none contain aluminium composite material – the specific type of cladding used at Grenfell Tower. Therefore we didn’t need to submit samples of cladding to the Department for Communities to be tested
  • worked with housing associations and other residential landlords in Hackney, who do have aluminium composite material cladding or other material which has failed safety tests, to take appropriate action where necessary and reassure residents
  • carried out a fire risk assessment on all of our properties. We’re now in the process of reviewing these assessments and also carrying our FRA 3 assessments on a rolling programme
  • retrofitted 68 dry risers to our blocks and completed works on wet risers where required. We’re now in the process of phase 2 of the dry riser programme which will see 154 properties fitted with dry risers
  • removed the cladding from Hugh Gaitskill House as per the recommendation of the London Fire Brigade and we’re in the process of removing the cladding off the 3 tower blocks at Lincoln Court
  • fitted Sprinklers at 355 Queensbridge on the recommendation of the London Fire Brigade
  • we’re in the process of replacing front entrance doors on the properties that have been identified as high priority in our fire risk assessment . We’re currently developing a longer term door replacement programme across the remaining properties, which will be communicated when the programme has been finalised
  • we’ve appointed a housing officer for each block and one of their duties is to carry out fire safety checks across the borough and to address any immediate issues. Where they are unable to address the issue, they will ensure it has been reported to the necessary department.

Statement on fire safety on estates

Read an update on the measures we’re taking to reassure residents about the safety of Council blocks across the borough: estate safety update and FAQs

Fire safety questions

Tenant management organisations (TMOs)

Report a problem

To report a fire safety issue on your estate, please email: housinginfo@hackney.gov.uk.

More information

Fire safety advice and information for tenants and residents is also available from the government:

Page updated on: 28 June 2019