Horsham flat residents told: 'Don't use your balconies' amid fire investigations
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Specialists are currently carrying out investigations at flats in The Forum complex near Horsham Library to see if more fire-resistant materials need to be fitted.
Horsham District Council, which is the freeholder of The Forum and is responsible for co-ordinating external membrane maintenance, says that investigations are now being carried out by the flats’ managing agents Stiles Harold Williams.
A spokesperson said: “Stiles Harold Williams have sent letters to all leaseholders to advise them not to use the balconies whilst they carry out their investigations which will include consulting with fire safety consultants."
The spokesperson added: "The balconies at The Forum are constructed using different materials. Some have steel structures whilst others have timber, but most have timber decking boards.“Some of the balconies are showing signs of wear and tear and will consequently be replaced.“Prior to them being replaced and following recent changes in fire regulations, the council’s managing agents are investigating whether the boards need to be changed to more fire-resistant materials. Advice is being sought from specialist consultants."
Some of the flats at The Forum are privately owned and some are rented but all are in a leasehold agreement.
Fire regulations were changed after the Grenfell tragedy. Seventy two people died when fire destroyed Grenfell Tower in North Kensington in West London in June 2017 – one of the UK's worst modern disasters.
The fire raced up the exterior of the 23-storey building within minutes after breaking out in a kitchen on the fourth floor.