Dave Williams, from Henshalls Insurance Brokers in Newport and Shrewsbury, said the tragic events in London were understandably having a wide-reaching effect across the country.
“The Government has announced a public inquiry into the fire at Grenfell Tower and major insurers are watching closely, delivering specific technical support and guidance wherever they can. They have said they will be working with the inquiry and doing all they can to help safeguard people and the buildings in which they live and work.”
And Mr Williams said landlords had a vital role to play in the aftermath of such a tragedy, in order to avoid a similar situation at all costs.
“Landlords should review their fire risk assessments – whether the property is a high-rise tower or not – and review evacuation and emergency plans, to ensure they are still relevant and that everyone understands the procedures.
“They should also double check that fire safety equipment and systems are in full working order, and address any problems that are found. Any relevant findings or changes must be passed on to residents and other key stakeholders, and it’s the landlord’s responsibility to make sure everyone is fully informed.”
Mr Williams said Government guidance also required landlords to check existing buildings to review the building materials used, in particular any cladding systems in place, and to get the products tested.
“While it’s too early to speculate on the details of the cause of the fire at Grenfell Tower, landlords may also want to consider installing automatic sprinkler systems in the meantime, as a precautionary measure.
“Major insurers have said that if landlords discover their buildings do have similar cladding to the Grenfell Tower, they will not be withdrawing existing insurance cover immediately – but they will offer support and advice to landlords to help manage the risks for now.
“And as the inquiries continue, they will expect customers to implement any Government health and safety advice as soon as it is practicably possible in order to keep residents safe.”
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