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Residents of Lichfield tower block reassured over ‘stay put’ fire safety advice

Residents of a Lichfield tower block have been told instructions to ‘stay put’ in the event of a fire breaking out are based on the design of the building and its safety measures.

Councillors have raised questions about the safety of high rise blocks in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in London.

Scrutiny of the instruction to residents to stay in their properties as the tragedy unfolded have been criticised in some quarters.

But Bromford, Lichfield’s social housing provider, has moved to reassure residents that the ‘stay put’ instruction for the David Garrick Gardens high rise is correct based on the design of the flats.

A spokesperson told councillors in the city that the plans were “individual to the building, based on the design and fire alarm systems in place”.

Suzanne Shead, Bromford’s head of locality, told LichfieldLive that risks were continually assessed in order to make improvements.

“The safety and security of customers has always been our number one priority and is something we are reviewing on a continuous basis,” she said. “A fire risk assessment is carried out every 12 months to ensure our standards remain high and to identify any areas requiring upgrades or improvements.

“As part of a decision taken in 2016 to modernise David Garrick Gardens, we have been working on a £100,000 project in conjunction with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service to install a high-tech sprinkler system in each individual home as well as upgrading the fire doors to a more modern alternative.

“The completion of this initiative is being marked with an open day at the start of July.”

Speaking after the new sprinkler system project was announced earlier this year, fire engineer Stuart Ruckledge said: “We are targeting these types of buildings as they are home to large numbers of people.

“The sprinklers will help prevent a major fire and give the occupiers more time to get out of the building. They also enable us to get inside the property and locate the fire quickly reducing the risk to our occupants and firefighters.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.