New evacuation procedure introduced for high-rise residents - The Rugby Observer

New evacuation procedure introduced for high-rise residents

Rugby Editorial 15th Mar, 2018   0

NEW evacuation procedures for multi-storey tower blocks in Rugby have been introduced.

Residents at Rugby Borough Council’s blocks in Rounds Gardens and Biart Place are being asked to change how they evacuate their blocks in the event of a fire or other emergency.

Since the blocks were built in the 1960s, the council had operated a ‘stay-put’ procedure which aimed to reduce harm to residents by keeping fires within fire-proof compartments.

But new information from intrusive survey works carried out last year suggests the buildings would not necessarily operate as expected in the event of a fire or explosion.




The council has introduced the new evacuation policy after consulting with the fire service and building construction experts.

A spokesman for Rugby Borough Council said: “The multi-storey blocks have stood safely since they were built around 50 years ago, and all previous fires within the blocks have been contained as designed.


“However, having removed some of the concrete within some of the flats, we cannot be completely sure that the blocks were built as designed and will perform as we expect in the event of a fire or explosion.

“The risk is substantially reduced because there is no gas supply, and portable gas appliances are banned under the tenancy agreement.

“However, under the circumstances it is absolutely right to prioritise residents’ safety and we are asking all residents to evacuate their block immediately, in a calm and safe manner, should they hear the alarm.”

The council commissioned extensive survey work on all of the multi-storey blocks in late 2016, with further more detailed surveys over the last six months, to establish their potential future lifespan and investment requirements.

The results of the surveys – along with options for potential refurbishment or redevelopment of the sites – will be considered by councillors at a meeting on April 24.

Copies of the council’s new fire evacuation procedures have been delivered to all tower block residents at Rounds Gardens and Biart Place. Council officers will visit all residents to make sure they understand what to do should the alarm sound.

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