Glasgow & West Scotland

Tower block residents in Glasgow and Ayr offered reassurance

Glasgow skyline Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Glasgow Housing Association says it has a "robust" fire prevention system in place

Residents of high-rise flats in parts of Scotland have been offered reassurance in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) said it had a "robust" system in place to minimise the risk of fire and prevent it spreading.

South Ayrshire Council has ordered a review of three tower blocks in Ayr.

Police have confirmed that at least 30 people died in the devastating blaze in west London on Wednesday morning.

The BBC understands that as many as 76 people are missing.

In a statement, GHA said it has set up a helpline for worried residents following the fire.

The social landlord took over the running of about 40,000 homes in Glasgow from Glasgow City Council in 2003.

It said "materials and systems" used as part of an investment in programme in multi-storey buildings were designed to prevent the spread of fire and they "meet and in many cases exceed" Scottish building standards.

Image copyright William Starkey

High rise living: 'I feel blessed to live here'

Jane Hanka has lived on the 19th floor of a tower block in Glasgow for the last three years.

She told BBC Radio Scotland's John Beattie programme that the images from the London fire were her "worst nightmare".

But she insisted that she loved living in a high rise alongside "great neighbours" and some "very friendly people".

"I feel blessed to live here," she said. "I absolutely love living high rise. I can't imagine living in a house again.

"The views are fantastic, the concierge service is really good."

She said she has had to reconsider advice on what to do in a fire.

"Since Grenfell Tower, I've had to rethink this... advice that you stay in your flat.

"Before I'd always thought that's what you do, that's the advice. Who knows in the moment how you're going to react, what your gut instinct is going to tell you to do - to stay in the flat or try and escape."

The association did not use the same insulating material as that which was reported to be used in Grenfell Tower, it added.

GHA staff carry out daily patrols in its tower blocks, where they identify health and safety problems, including fire risks, and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service also carries out quarterly inspections, it said.

A spokesman said: "We are continuing to reassure residents that we have a robust approach in place to minimise the risk of fire, and prevent it spreading. We have set up a helpline for any concerned tenants who need extra reassurance.

"We will listen very carefully to any additional safety recommendations or advice from the authorities as a result of the London fire and are standing ready to take any necessary actions around any lessons to be learned."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Sprinkler systems are in place in flats in three tower blocks in Riverside Place in Ayr

Meanwhile South Ayrshire Council said a review of its three 13-storey tower blocks in Riverside Place, Ayr, will begin on Monday and it will be carried out by a specialist architect.

It confirmed that every flat and communal area was fitted with a sprinkler system, and fire alarms were in place.

The council added that the buildings were fitted with "mineral core" external cladding in 1992 - a different product from that used on Grenfell Tower.

Councillor Philip Saxton said: "While all three [tower blocks] meet strict fire protection standards, the cladding was fitted 25 years ago and we need to ensure that the buildings continue to provide the level of safety our tenants would expect.

"We're working closely with residents and tenants to keep them fully informed about the building inspections, which will be carried out in the next few days."

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