Fears raised over fire risk of foam tiles in homes after Grenfell Tower disaster

Grenfell Tower in London, which was wrecked in a blaze in June, leaving an estimated 80 people dead.
Grenfell Tower in London, which was wrecked in a blaze in June, leaving an estimated 80 people dead.

Tenants have been urged to push landlords for action if potentially hazardous materials have been used to kit out their homes.

Easington MP Grahame Morris has raised the issue in Parliament after he was contacted by a resident in his constituency who was fearful for their safety as ceilings in their house have been decorated using polystyrene tiles.

Easington MP Grahame Morris.

Easington MP Grahame Morris.

Mr Morris sought information from Alok Sharma, the minister for state with the Communities and Local Government department, to find out if there was any requirement to remove them from older buildings.

His questions follow on from the Grenfell Tower tragedy on June 14, when the block of flats in Kensington, London, caught light, leading to the deaths of an estimated 80 people - with the final death toll still to be confirmed - and left 74 injured.

Questions have since been raised about the cladding used during a refit of the 24-storey high building and whether it aided the blaze.

Mr Sharma told Mr Morris if the tiles are deemed a fire risk following an inspection, notices can be served requiring them to be removed.

After the horrific tragedy at Grenfell Tower we must be more vigilant about fire safety.

Grahame Morris

Failure to comply would be a criminal offence, which could lead to a council imposing a financial penalty of up to £30,000 and also apply for a rent repayment order for up to 12 months rental fees.

He said it would also be prosecuted in the courts, which have the power to impose an unlimited fine.

Mr Morris said: “After the horrific tragedy at Grenfell Tower we must be more vigilant about fire safety.

“In the aftermath of the fatal fire I have received concerns from a constituent with mobility issues who is private rented accommodation about polystyrene ceiling tiles in her home, which have been clearly identified as a fire risk.

“Anyone with similar concerns should approach their landlord, and if they refuse to act, they should make a complaint to Environmental Health at the Local Authority.

“I hope the Government will be proactive in giving people fire safety advice and challenging unsafe housing conditions.”

Mr Morris’s question was one of several to be put to the Government on issues surrounding fire safety through written questions in the wake of the Grenfell fire.

Others have queried whether white goods should undergo safety checks within tower blocks as a response to the blaze, as it was sparked by a fridge freezer.

It has said it is looking at areas where product safety and recalls could be improved.