Changes to Barking and Dagenham tower blocks after fire safety failings found

PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:23 06 November 2017

Fire safety audits of four Barking and Dagenham tower blocks were conducted after the Grenfell Tower fire. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images

Fire safety audits of four Barking and Dagenham tower blocks were conducted after the Grenfell Tower fire. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

Poor fire safety conditions in four Barking and Dagenham tower blocks had placed resident’s safety at risk, independent reports conducted after the Grenfell Tower disaster found.

Safety measures had “deteriorated” since Mersea House and Colne House, both in Harts Lane, Barking, were refurbished six years ago, inspectors said.

“It is apparent that regular fire safety inspections are not being made,” they added.

Fire safety audits reported similar failings of broken fire doors, a lax attitude to safety checks and concerns over firestopping between residents’ flats and the lifts and lobbies at Dagenham’s Oldmead House, in Exeter Road, and Barletts House, Vicarage Road.

However Barking and Dagenham Council has confirmed all the identified risks have since been fixed and the blocks now have an overall risk rating of low.

The reports, based on inspections of each building’s communal spaces, were conducted the fortnight after the Grenfell Tower blaze in June.

Up to 80 people were killed when flames ravaged the north Kensington tower block, whose external Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding is believed to have helped the fire’s rapid spread.

Though the audits said the buildings’ cladding “may not comply with building regulations”, the buildings neither used ACM cladding nor posed a safety risk, Barking and Dagenham Council said.

Two buildings - Colne and Mersea - had narrowly avoided a risk rating of ‘substantial’; which would mean “urgent action” was needed to reduce safety threats.

A council spokesman said: “The law requires us to do fire risk assessments annually but since July we have taken an extra step of doing them every three months because the safety of our residents is a top priority.

“This means the blocks have a more up to date fire risk assessment, which can be found on our website..

Oldmead and Bartletts House is currently undergoing an “early modernisation” programme to replace both buildings’ cladding and insulation with “the most modern and up-to-date fire-resistant material available”.

The refurbishments are expected to last until spring next year.

Latest Barking and Dagenham Stories


FA Cup: Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Boreham Wood 1


Due to demand, organisers have added a second event day meaning it will take place on November 10 and November 11


Dagenham & Redbridge striker Tomi Adeloye is looking to build on his goal in their 2-2 draw against Boreham Wood in the FA Cup as he hopes to start in the replay.

Scotland international is enjoying a renaissance at the Hammers under new boss Pellegrini


Gale Street club took losing bonus point in defeat to local rivals


Lakeside Hammers and Peterborough’s Championship play-off semi-final second leg will be restaged after consideration by the BSPA and Speedway Control Bureau.


Council leader Darren Rodwell has welcomed new powers allowing local authorities to borrow more to build their own homes.


Dagenham & Redbridge striker Tomi Adeloye says they need to be a tougher side if they want to start climbing up the National League table.


Everest Estates stress-free service guarantees a fixed income for your East London or Essex property every month, even if no one is currently living there. Here they talk about the scheme and explain how it can help you dodge common letting headaches.

Barking and Dagenham is home to Better Extreme, London’s largest indoor skatepark. Whatever your discipline, be it skateboarding, inline, BMX or scootering, there’s a challenge waiting for you.

Barking Sporthouse has a wide range of fun things to do with your children this summer

Newsletter Sign Up

Barking and Dagenham Post twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now