Search site

Corporate Landlord - Fire safety

City of Wolverhampton Council takes its fire safety responsibilities extremely seriously.

In light of the recent tragic fire at London's Grenfell Tower, the council, working with Wolverhampton Homes and specialist organisations, has taken steps to review existing fire safety measures and to undertake a number of additional safety checks across buildings owned or managed by the council.

A range of information is provided below for City of Wolverhampton residents, to provide reassurance about the safety measures already in place and to advise on the additional steps being taken to ensure that all practical measures are being taken to minimise risk.

This information will be updated regularly to ensure that residents can access current and accurate information.

High rise residential (housing) buildings 

Residential (housing) buildings are managed by Wolverhampton Homes, an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) which was set up in 2005. Wolverhampton Homes manages 23,000 homes, including 36 high rise tower blocks (high rise buildings are over 18 metres (59 feet) or more than six storeys in height).

Wolverhampton Homes has undertaken a range of investigations, focussing on 6 blocks which are fitted with a rain cladding type system. Samples of the cladding have been sent to the government approved testing laboratory. Please refer to the Wolverhampton Homes website (www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk) for the latest information.

Residential (non-housing) buildings

The council operates 7 residential (non-housing) buildings, offering short stay accommodation, respite care and adult & children residential accommodation. All sites have had a new fire risk assessment undertaken in 2016 or 2017.

None of the buildings are over 18 metres high and none have a rain cladding type system.

Leisure Centres

There are three WV Active leisure centres operated by the council. All sites have had a new fire risk assessment undertaken in 2016 or 2017.

The Central Baths and Aldersley Leisure Village are mainly brick and glass clad.

Bert Williams has a rain cladding type system, however the insulation used behind the cladding has been established to be non-combustible.

Other council buildings

No issues or concerns have been identified to date following a review of other council buildings.  

The council will continue to review the situation, particularly if government advice is revised or if there are changes to Building Regulations.

Schools

The Department for Education launched an online survey to help form a view on the safety of school buildings.  The survey was completed on 30 June 2017. The survey covered all school buildings that the council maintains and is responsible for (This excludes Voluntary Aided schools and Academies who have been contacted separately) and paid particular attention to buildings that are four storey or above and/or have residential accommodation. 

There is only one school that meets these specific criteria, due to residential accommodation on site.  The school has no cladding on the residential area.

Fire risk assessments

Fire risk assessments are required by law and the council ensures that fire risk assessments are in place for all council buildings. The assessments are reviewed and updated as required, for example where there are changes to the structure or usage of a building. In most cases, fire risk assessments are undertaken by external fire safety experts.

Actions are identified in the fire risk assessments to improve fire safety, for example upgrading fire alarms or reviewing evacuation procedures. The council undertakes actions as recommended, naturally dealing with higher priority actions first.

Fire safety measures within council buildings

Ongoing fire safety measures at council buildings include ensuring:

  • Fire alarms are tested every week.

  • Regular fire safety inspections are carried out.

  • Evacuation drills are undertaken, at least annually

  • Fixed and portable firefighting equipment is provided and regularly tested and serviced.

Fire marshalls are trained for all buildings.

Further actions

The safety of all our residents, employees and users of council buildings is of paramount importance.

The council is committed to ensuring that all actions required to maintain and improve fire safety are undertaken. This includes responding to government advice and any future changes to regulations.