Mayor to join Avon Fire & Rescue on visits to Bristol council tower blocks

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees will join officers from Avon Fire & Rescue Service and Neighbourhood Officers from Avon and Somerset Police this week to visit residents in council tower blocks across the city.

The Mayor and Bristol City Council have been working close with the fire service following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London last week, and the community reassurance visits will aim to update residents and address any concerns they may have about safety.

Residents will be able to get advice from the fire service and speak to council officers and councillors about any concerns. They will also be able to find out more about free home fire safety checks, which are available to everyone.

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said: “We have all been extremely saddened by the Grenfell fire, and the shock continues to resonate. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the friends and families of those who have lost their lives or been affected by this awful tragedy.

“After the Grenfell tragedy I immediately made contact with Avon Fire and Rescue to co-ordinate a joint response and ensure we were all doing as much as we can to ensure the safety of our citizens.

“We do not believe there is cause for concern about our tower blocks, but we are monitoring events very closely and will take on board any recommendations that come out as a result of the investigation. This would include any necessary changes to our policies and procedures.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and decide our next steps once we know more about the causes of the fire and the initial results of the investigation.

“I want to reassure our tenants that we are doing all that can possibly be done to protect them, and make sure that Bristol never experiences a similar tragedy.”

Avon Fire and Rescue and council officers have already been visiting some tower blocks across the city following on from the devastating fire last week.

The council and Avon Fire & Rescue Service work extremely closely and all council tower blocks have Fire Risk Assessments in place which are checked annually by Bristol City Council.

There are also a number of other safety measures in place, such as smoke detectors in every home, as well as sprinklers in the majority of bin rooms – all blocks will have these by the end of the year.

Station Manager Steve Quinton, Technical Fire Safety Manager at Avon Fire & Rescue Service said: “The Grenfell Tower fire was an absolute tragedy and as a Service we will take a particular interest in the investigation to make sure we do everything we can to ensure the safety of residents of high rise properties in our area.

“A fire in a tower block which caused such widespread damage and claimed so many lives is unprecedented in this country which is why it continues to cause so much shock. Like any home, flats in tower blocks are at risk of accidental fires, but on countless occasions the design of the buildings and the safety advice provided by landlords and fire and rescue services have kept residents safe.

“In the wake of the awful events in London it is natural that residents of high rise buildings will question safety advice, particularly the ‘stay put’ policy.  The visits we’ll be undertaking with Bristol City Council will be an opportunity for local people to discuss their concerns with us and for our staff to explain why the ‘stay put’ guidance remains the safest response to a fire.”

Visit schedule

For a list of the times and dates of the visits download the schedule below.