17071 – Highrise buildings list

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A request for information about numbers of high rise and information about fire protection and cladding – 17071

Ref: FOI/17071

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested on 29th June 2017.

Please find below a summary of our findings.

Request

1) Please provide a list of all tower blocks in your area (18m and above), whether residential or otherwise.

2) For each building, please state the building’s name and what it is used for (residential/business etc)

Reply

Please see attached for a list of all buildings where we have recorded that the height of the building is over 4 floors.

FOI17071

Highrise building list

1.0 Download

Request

3) Please state how many people live/work in each building.

Reply

This information is exempt under section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as we do not hold this information.  We do not record the number of people who live/work in each of the attached buildings

Request

4) Please state whether each building has a sprinkler system.

5) Please state if each building has a central fire alarm system.

Reply

Please see attached. 

FOI17071
List of highrise building with alarms and sprinkler systems 1.0 Download

Request

6) Please state whether or not each building is cladded with Aluminium Composite Material (also known as Aluminium Composite Panels)

7) Please state, for each building cladded with ACM/ACP, the type of insulation and core used with the panels, for example polyethylene (PE), polyurethane (PUR), profiled metal or a mineral core.

Reply

This information is exempt under section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as we do not hold this information.  The type of cladding used in the construction of buildings has not in the past been recorded however we are not actively looking to collect and record this information.

Request

8) Please state whether each building is cladded with Reynobond PE cladding or Reynobond FR cladding.

9) Where another type of cladding was used on a building, please state the type of cladding used.

10) Where cladding has been installed on a tower block, please state the name of the company that carried out the installation (where this is known).

Reply

Not applicable see above

Request

11) Where fire tests have been carried out since the Grenfell Tower fire, please state how many tower blocks have been found to be cladded with materials found to be combustible? Please state the type of material that was found to be combustible.

Reply

This information is exempt under section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as we do not hold this information.  Information on all fire tests carried out is held by Building Research Establishment (BRE) or the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) who carry out the tests.

Request

12) Please provide a copy of any fire test reports on cladding that have been produced since the Grenfell Tower fire and the results of these tests.

Reply

This information is exempt under section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as we do not hold this information.  WMFS does not receive copies of any of the fire test reports that are carried out.

Request

13) Please provide a copy of any correspondence about tower block cladding sent or received since 13 June, 2017.

14) Please provide a copy of any correspondence sent or received in the last seven years about cladding.

Reply

In the period from 13th to 30th June there was a large amount of internal and external correspondence sent and received.

To provide you with all this and all correspondence relating to cladding in the last 7 years we have estimated that it would take approximately 160 hours of work.

If this is required please let me know and I will issue a fees notice.

To provide all internal correspondence we have estimated would take approximately 120 hours of work as this would require a search by all fire officers of all correspondence or e-mails that they have received.

If this is required please let me know and I will issue a fees notice.

Please find attached a summary of our internal notices from 13th to 30th June  Summary of internal notices

If you do require a Fees Notice and subsequently pay it, then please be advised that we may need to apply other exemptions such as Section 40(2) personal data to any internal correspondence.

Request

15) Please provide a copy of any reports by the fire authority that mention cladding in the last seven years.

Reply

This information is exempt under section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as this information is reasonably accessible to the requestor. Information concerning all reports by the West Midlands fire authority are available at the following link: http://94.236.33.181/cmis5/Home.aspx

Request

16) How often does your fire brigade carry out fire safety inspections at tower blocks in your area (18m or above).

Reply

The WMFS carries out two different types of inspections. These can be in the form of a fire safety inspection which is carried out by persons who have had specific fire safety training. Alternatively the operational crews also carry out site inspections so that they are familiarising themselves with the building in order to deal with any potential incidents.

The frequency of visits is not predetermined and any inspections will be as a result of either of the following:

  • Intelligence received from a member of the public or partner agency such as a complaint
  • A post incident inspection where if there has been a fire there may be a follow to address any identified issues
  • As a result of our risk database identifying that that a property requires a visit. This risk database looks at all the properties within the West Midlands and dynamically suggests which property has a higher risk rating (based on a number of factors such as building size, occupancy, property use etc.).
  • If we are running any form of safety campaign a property may be inspected as result.
  • We also carry out random sampling of properties to inspect.

Request

17) When were these checks last carried out prior to the Grenfell Tower fire?

Reply

We have analysed your request and in order to find out when all the checks were last carried out would require us to check all our high rise records individually. As we have over 500 high rise blocks of 6 floors or above and it would take us approximately 30 minutes per building to check. We have estimated the whole request would exceed the appropriate cost limit so please let me know if you would like us to issue a fees notice.

Request

18) How many tower blocks has your fire brigade inspected since the Grenfell Tower fire? How many were found to be safe?

19) How many tower blocks has your fire brigade inspected since they were found to contain combustible panels/material in fire tests? How many of them were found to be safe?

Reply

We have visited numerous high rise buildings within the Brigade area alongside colleagues based at operational stations as part of our structured Site Specific Risk Information programme.  This assists us with confirming emergency arrangements on site and also familiarise our teams with the building layout and firefighting considerations. The purpose of these visits is to not only enhance our response capability but also to ensure public and firefighter safety.

We have also assisted Local Authorities in joint visits to provide assurance to residents and advice as required.

  • We have a total of 34 high rise inspections completed and out of these inspections a total of 4 failures were recorded.
    • Geographical breakdown of inspections is as follows:
      • 10 Black country
      • 21 Birmingham
      • 3 Coventry

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me.  Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications. If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision please write to The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.

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