Horsham flat residents told: 'Don't use your balconies' amid fire investigations

Residents living in a block of flats in Horsham town centre are being urged not to use their balconies amid fire concerns.
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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.

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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."

People living in flats at The Forum in Horsham town centre have been told not to use their balconies amid fire concerns, Photo: Sarah PagePeople living in flats at The Forum in Horsham town centre have been told not to use their balconies amid fire concerns, Photo: Sarah Page
People living in flats at The Forum in Horsham town centre have been told not to use their balconies amid fire concerns, Photo: Sarah Page

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.

People living in flats in The Forum, Horsham, have been urged not use their balconies while fire investigations are carried out. Photo: Sarah PagePeople living in flats in The Forum, Horsham, have been urged not use their balconies while fire investigations are carried out. Photo: Sarah Page
People living in flats in The Forum, Horsham, have been urged not use their balconies while fire investigations are carried out. Photo: Sarah Page

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.