Deptford estate residents fear fire risk after holes drilled in floors and doors

By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter

Residents on a Deptford estate say they are worried about a repeat of the Grenfell tragedy because of fire safety risks from ongoing works. 

Lewisham Homes is carrying out fire safety works on the Pepys Estate, but residents have photographed holes drilled into each floor and panels on doors labelled fire doors cut through. 

They are calling for an urgent inspection from London Fire Brigade.   

One resident said it was “appalling” that it was “left to residents to question the quality of contractors works”. 

“It’s reminiscent of Grenfell and so scary between Covid and fire – living in a building site and watching fire safety infrastructure being destroyed,” they said.   

Lewisham Homes spokesperson said the doors in question “are only for security” and that they are labelled “fire doors” because they can operate as them. 

He said: “These works are part of electrical and alarm upgrades being carried out specifically to improve the fire safety of the buildings. 

A door at Pepys Estate with a hole drilled in it

“The doors in question are only for security and are not intended to be sealed units. The temporary apertures are in already vented panels which form part of the building’s smoke dispersal system.  

“There is a permanently open vent at the end of the corridor to allow smoke to vent to the outside. 

“The doors are labelled as fire doors because they are of a type which is suitable for that purpose but in this particular setting that is not their function. 

“We have asked our fire engineers to undertake a survey of the corridor ventilation and the security doors in order to address our residents’ concerns in more detail.” 

But residents are calling for independent scrutiny from London Fire Brigade. 

One said: “As it is a building regulations issue and fire safety domain it really needs the independent scrutiny of London Fire Brigade because we have [Lewisham Homes] and contractors ticking off their own homework. 

“Residents want safe homes – [they] want safe fire works and these are not being done in a safe way.” 

LFB has been contacted for comment and is looking into the issue.  

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