Safety probe launched to prevent a Grenfell Tower tragedy in Hartlepool

Titan House on the corner of Park Road and York Road
Titan House on the corner of Park Road and York Road

Community safety chiefs have taken action to prevent Hartlepool suffering the same terrible fate as London’s Grenfell Tower.

The Safer Hartlepool Partnership (SHP) is contacting housing providers and landlords across the town to make sure fire safety checks are carried out straight away.

Hartlepool Council chief executive Gill Alexander

Hartlepool Council chief executive Gill Alexander

They also want them to check that they do not use cladding of the type believed to have contributed to the Grenfell blaze spreading so fast leading to so many deaths.

A Hartlepool council chief has also met with the boss of housing group Thirteen, which manages 7,500 properties in Hartlepool, including Titan House, a five-storey block of flats in Park Road.

The housing group checking all the external material around their high-rise buildings as a precaution.

In a report to go before Hartlepool Borough Council tonight, Chief Executive Gill Alexander said: “Following the sad and tragic event at the Grenfell Tower block of flats in Kensington, London, the Safer Hartlepool Partnership on the 16th June instigated measures to prevent this from happening in Hartlepool.

Grenfell Tower in west London. Photo: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire

Grenfell Tower in west London. Photo: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire

“In collaboration with the fire authority, the SHP will be contacting all registered housing providers and known private landlords who own high rise blocks, properties of multiple occupancy and/or have premises over four floors, seeking assurance that fire safety checks are undertaken immediately to their properties and promote the use of misters/sprinkler systems and to undertake surveys of the external material.”

Chancellor Philip Hammond has said the cladding used on the Grenfell Tower is banned in the UK on buildings of that height.

Ms Alexander adds in her report: “The Director for Regeneration and Neighbourhoods has met with the Chief Executive of Thirteen who own the only high rise block in Hartlepool, and they have they confirmed they are checking the external material on all their high-rise blocks through intrusive surveys to take samples and test as an added precaution.”

Thirteen had recently undertaken a further fire safety check of all its high rise blocks and were already looking to install misting systems. High rise tenants are also to be reminded of for emergency procedures in their block and to test their smoke alarms regularly.

Hartlepool council says it is committed to making sure new buildings meet national standards.