Cllr Dan Thomas, Leader of Barnet Council, has issued a statement to mark the third anniversary of the Grenfell disaster.

Cllr Thomas said: “Three years on and the Grenfell Tower fire remains a tragedy that casts a long shadow. We remember those who sadly perished, and our thoughts and wishes are with their families and friends on this difficult day.

“We are doing everything in our power to prevent a similar tragedy ever happening in our borough. Barnet, like many other local authorities, has done a great amount of work in the past three years, ensuring additional fire safety measures are in place to try and ensure we never encounter an incident of this scale and devastation ever again.

“Following Grenfell, we immediately commissioned a full programme of fire safety works across our council housing including the installation of sprinklers and alarm systems. We have also removed ACM cladding from three of the borough’s high-rise tower blocks. We will continue to deliver this programme of works to ensure the safety and peace of mind of our residents.”

Since the Grenfell Fire in 2017, Barnet Homes has been working to ensure the safety of its residents through its fire safety works programme.

Barnet Council has invested £52m in fire safety improvement works across council housing stock, including installing sprinklers and alarm systems in tower blocks, sheltered housing schemes and hostels. £19.5m of this has already been spent, with a total of £34.5m due to be spent by the end of 2020-21.

In the immediate aftermath of the fire, ACM cladding was removed from three tower blocks at Granville Road and replaced with an A1 rated system, ahead of time and under budget. Work to install sprinkler systems at Granville Road is beginning in July 2020.

In addition to the range of fire safety works already completed, Barnet Homes’ dedicated Fire Safety Team is working through a five-year programme of works, which includes:

  • High priority fire safety works at some of Barnet Homes’ largest estates. These works include new electrical rising mains, sprinkler systems, new heating systems and new fire doors and have been progressing well.
  • Sprinkler and alarm installation at Longford Court in Hendon. This work began in January 2020 and is progressing well. Work also began in March 2020 at Prospect Ring and Norfolk Close in East Finchley and at Whitefields in Brent Cross, with Upper Fosters in Hendon starting in May 2020.
  • Replacing 5,000 non-compliant front doors to homes.
  • Working in partnership with the London Fire Brigade to ensure resident safety, and communicating regularly with our residents to ensure they are aware of what they can do to keep their homes fire safe, and what they should do in case of a fire. We produced fire safety videos for our residents in collaboration with the London Fire Brigade. We are also working closely with residents through a continuous process of fire safety checks in tower blocks and responding to any concerns raised about fire safety. Barnet Homes’ resident satisfaction surveys include questions about building safety to make sure residents feel safe and secure in their homes.
  • In-depth fire risk assessments (Type 4) carried out by expert consultants; 189 assessments have been carried out so far across our whole stock. Any urgent works resulting from these assessments are treated as priorities.