1. ITV Report

Fire chiefs calling for sprinkler systems in all Midland tower blocks

There are hundreds of medium to high-rise buildings in the West Midlands Credit: ITV News Central

There are around 400 buildings classed as medium to high-rise in the West Midlands and fire chiefs are calling for sprinkler systems to be installed in all of them, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The Chief Fire Officer for the West Midlands, Phil Loach, met all seven local authorities yesterday to review fire safety in tower blocks.

They discussed the “robust arrangements” already in place to deal with fires, and agreed to lobby for sprinklers in all domestic and commercial buildings.

It followed Wednesday morning’s major fire at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in Kensington which has claimed at least 17 lives, with the death toll expected to rise.

The fire broke out in the early house of Wednesday morning Credit: SWNS

The search and recovery operation continued yesterday as many who lived in the tower remained unaccounted for. Questions have been asked about safety standards after it emerged that residents had been raising concerns for a number of years.

We have no significant known issues with tower blocks in the West Midlands area.

We have experienced an increase in calls from residents around reassurance and we will continue to engage with people.

– Chief Fire Officer for the West Midlands, Phil Loach

Councils and landlords across the region are now checking their own towers in the light of the London fire.

Director of housing Robert James said:

We would like to reassure all council tenants we have a range of safety measures in place at our tower blocks, and where refurbishment works have been carried out we have used fire-resistant materials.

In addition, we have a team of officers who are accredited fire risk assessors and they administer our fire prevention programmes.

– Director of housing, Robert James

Mr Loach revealed that the West Midlands Fire Service had received calls from worried members of the public living in tower blocks in Birmingham and across the wider region.

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