DON’T panic if you see smoke rising from the tower blocks at Biart Place today (Friday September 6) – it’s all part of a firefighters’ training exercise.
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) will use cosmetic smoke at the vacant flats during the exercise, which takes place from 10am until around 12.30pm.
The drill is designed to test operational procedures, and analyse resources, equipment and individual roles.
Warwickshire County Council’s fire and community safety spokesman Coun Andy Crump said: “Training exercises such as this are essential to ensure our crews are ready and prepared to deal with any emergency.
“Thanks to Rugby Borough Council, we have been given the opportunity to undertake a realistic training exercise in an empty building to test our operational procedures.
“This is one of many training exercises that we undertake throughout the year to help keep Warwickshire communities safer.”
The 124 flats at Biart Place have been vacated ahead of being demolished and replaced, after Rugby Borough Council found they had been built to a ‘poor standard’ in the late 60s and may not ‘perform as expected’ in the event of a fire or explosion.
A report to councillors recommended designing new council housing for the site, estimating it would cost £23million to replace the buildings.
And while the estimated cost of mending them is £3million less, surveys suggest the deteriorating towers would need to be repaired again in less than 30 years – making the replacement option cheaper in the long term.