Martin Docherty-Hughes MP has expressed his sympathies for those affected by the tragic fatal fire at the Grenfell Tower block in London.
The SNP MP has written to the Chief Executive of West Dunbartonshire Council on behalf of local residents calling for a review of fire safety measures at high rise flats in the area.
Commenting, Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“My thoughts are with all of those affected by this devastating fire at Grenfell Tower.
“Many people have lost their lives and I have been contacted by constituents in West Dunbartonshire who are deeply saddened by this terrible tragedy.
“Although investigations into the cause of the fire are still in their early stages, there are a number of high rise tower blocks in West Dunbartonshire and local residents are understandably concerned about fire safety in these buildings.
“It may be some time before the investigation into what caused the fire at Grenfell Tower is completed. In the meantime, I have written to West Dunbartonshire Council to ask that it works in conjunction with the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service to prioritise a review of its fire risk assessments for high rise buildings in the area.
“It’s important that we ensure the highest possible fire safety standards are being met. I have also asked the council to consider reminding local residents of the practical steps they can take to minimise the risk of fire such as the installation of fire alarms.
“For those who don’t have one, the Fire Service will fit a smoke alarm free of charge, and will recommend other fire safety measures they consider necessary. Further information is available by calling the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service on 0800 0731 999.”
Letter sent to West Dunbartonshire Council
14 June 2017
West Dunbartonshire Council
Fire safety in high rise flats
I write to you following the tragic fatal fire at the Grenfell Tower in London. At the time of writing we know that at least six people have lost their lives, with a number of individuals unaccounted for and many others seriously injured. My immediate thoughts are with the residents and families affected by this devastating fire.
Although it is still too early to know the cause of the fire, I have already been contacted by constituents who live locally in high rise flats who are deeply saddened by this incident and understandably concerned about fire safety in their own buildings.
As the investigations into the cause of the Grenfell Tower blaze continue – and I appreciate that these investigations may take some time – its implications for fire safety in tower blocks and multiple occupancy buildings will become clearer.
In the meantime, given the number of high rise flats in West Dunbartonshire, I believe that the council should work in conjunction with the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service so that all reasonable steps are being taken to ensure that these buildings meet the highest possible standards for fire safety.
I know that West Dunbartonshire Council takes the health and safety of local residents very seriously, so I would ask that the council considers undertaking a review of its fire risk assessments for each of the high rise buildings it manages. Furthermore, I would welcome a commitment from the council to reassure residents and remind them of the practical measures they can take to minimise the risk of fire including the installation and regular testing of fire alarms.
Please note that I have also copied this letter to Chief Fire Officer Alasdair Hay and would wish to reiterate my gratitude to the fire services across the country who put their own lives at risk to keep us safe.
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP