All residents invited to return to the Chalcots Estate
We have now completed the urgent works identified by the London Fire Brigade related to fire containment issues inside the blocks on the Chalcots Estate and have invited all residents to return home. We thank all affected residents for their patience during this period of disruption. Our contractors worked around the clock to deliver the works outlined by the fire service but we couldn’t have achieved this without resident cooperation.
A spokesperson from the London Fire Brigade said:
“Our highly trained Inspecting Officers, have been working very closely with Camden Council since it was discovered that essential works were required in these four buildings on the Chalcots Estate. We agreed a list of works which would improve the general fire precautions in the building and mitigate the risks from fire. Officers from the LFB have visited the premises since the work began and are satisfied that sufficient progress has been made to allow a phased re-occupation of the buildings. The phasing of the re-occupation has started with the lower floors and progressing as works are completed on subsequent floors moving up through the buildings.
“There is further work planned by the council to improve the fire doors and the aesthetic look of the remedial works undertaken so far. What has been achieved to allow reoccupation of the blocks must be maintained and that is very much a partnership effort between the council and residents to ensure self closers are left intact, fire doors are not wedged open and corridors are kept clear.’
Whilst residents were out of their homes, contractors completed the first phase of works ensuring residents are safe to return. Experienced independent building control inspectors, including members of the Institution of Fire Engineering, then signed them off.
We have completed the following fire safety works to a standard that satisfies the London Fire Brigade’s requirements for reoccupation:
- The assessment of doors in the communal lobby areas and work completed to ensure that each of these doors is fitted with a self-closer.
- Improvement works to all stairwell entrance doors as required by the London Fire Brigade. We have upgraded these doors to include smoke strips to door edges and making sure doors fit properly. In the event of a fire, the smoke strips expand preventing smoke from entering escape routes. We have also fitted door closers and further smoke sealant to the windows.
- Upgrades to flat entrance doors. All front doors have been fitted with external door closers ensuring they meet the required fire resilience standard outlined by the London Fire Brigade and independent building control. We have also been making appointments with residents to carry out further internal improvements to the front doors including the installation of smoke seals on the inside. Whilst the external works are sufficient to meet the required fire resilience standard, we are keen to make further internal door upgrades whilst we wait for the delivery of new fire doors. Please call 020 7974 4444 (option 7) to arrange an appointment for us to undertake these works.
- Works to ensure compartmentation is maintained between floors, for example fire stopping where pipework or cables pass between communal areas and flats. All fire stopping works have been undertaken using fire rated materials and completed by registered contractors. These works help to prevent smoke from spreading beyond the floor where the fire started.
- The assessment of the basement and garage areas to make sure compartmentation and fire stopping is up to standard. This includes fitting stairwell doors with smoke strips, as well as improving fire stops between gas risers at the lowest level of the blocks.
- Assessment and repairs to ventilation grilles and checks to ensure Automatic Opening Vents are working properly. Automatic Opening Vents are present on each floor of the blocks, these vents automatically open when smoke escapes from a flat, setting off a sensor in a communal area of the floor. The open vents ensure smoke leaves the building helping to prevent escape routes filling with smoke.
We will be continuing to collaborate with the fire service and expert fire engineers to identify further improvements that can be made to ensure the highest standard of fire safety. Planned works include:
- Works to external cladding systems following government advice, which will follow the results of the BRE whole system tests.
- The installation of fire blankets within all flats, these should be installed within two metres of kitchen appliances.
- Portable Appliance Testing of white goods in all flats is underway on a block by block basis. This will be completed over the next few weeks.
- The installation of new front doors that provide up to 60 minutes of fire containment. These doors will be ‘secure by design’ and certified to PAS 24 standard, they will include a dual bolt Yale lock, three point deadlock and have been extensively tested to stand up to both fire and physical attack.
A full schedule of these works is in development and we will provide a further update with an outline of the expected timeframe for completion in each block as soon as possible.
If you are a Chalcots resident and would like to arrange for further works to report a snagging issue or book for the above works please call 020 7974 4444 (option 7).
We will continue to keep the information and FAQs on our website up to date, and we will be releasing a longer-term schedule of safety works shortly. You can also read a copy of a letter sent to residents this morning, highlighting works completed so far and what is planned for the immediate future here.
Visit camden.gov.uk/chalcotsestate to find out more or contact the Chalcots residents helpline on 020 7974 4444 (option 7).