Safety fears raised over Southend tower blocks' windows

Southend Standard: Safety fears raised over tower blocks' windows Safety fears raised over tower blocks' windows

CONCERNS have been raised over the safety of windows in Southend tower blocks after it was revealed panes of glass could fall out.

South Essex Homes, which manages the flats for Southend Council, has put screws in to stop the windows opening more than a few inches, even though the double glazing was only fitted about five years ago.

The housing association says residents will face eviction if they defy the move, which is also designed to prevent tenants throwing bulky items from the windows.

Many tenants in the notorious Quantock flats, one of those affected, are fuming that they can’t get enough air in or clean their windows and have demanded they are replaced so they can use them properly.

Rachel Ringer, 85, on the fourth floor of the building, which has 105 flats, has avoided the order because she owns her own flat.

She said: “I was told it was to stop people throwing things out the window.

“There have been TVs, videos and even stews thrown out while I have been here, but there was one man on the 13th floor cleaning his window when the whole pane fell out and luckily he went backwards or would have gone with it.”

She said the council said she would have to comply but, as a leaseholder, she felt she could resist it.

Rose Chapman, 81, who lives on the third floor, complained to South EssexHomes, after her windows were restricted. She said: “You can only open it two notches now.

“There is no way I can properly clean the outside of the windows now and in the summer it will get too hot.

“They have warned us if we remove the screws we could be thrown out.

“All they have said is they will now clean the windows twice a year, instead of once, so we don’t have to bother, but who only cleans their window twice a year?

“I have said if the windows are not safe, they should replace them so we can use them properly.”

In response to Mrs Chapman’s complaint, Bradley Staff, of South Essex Homes, replied: “The restrictors were required to be fitted due to health and safety reasons.

“It has been found that should the windows be reversed unevenly or left in a reversed position, there is a small risk the pivot pin holding the window may be damaged, resulting in the window becoming unsafe.”

He added, following feedback from residents concerned about being unable to clean their windows, the annual clean at Quantock had been increased to twice yearly.

A South Essex Homes spokeswoman said: “The restrictors prevent the windows being pivoted beyond the designed normal ventilation position, but still allow for normal ventilation.

“There are no actual faults with the windows, but this has been introduced as a precautionary measure for the safety of residents, which is paramount.

“All residents were advised of the need to have these restrictors fitted.”

SOUTH Essex Homes has only just brought in the restriction, despite a man nearly plummeting from the 13th floor when a pane fell out nearly four years ago.

The man was washing the window of his flat, in Quantock when it fell 13 floors and smashed on the ground.

Luckily the stool the man was standing on fell backwards and he avoided injury.

It was at least the second time a window fell from the 13th floor. In a previous incident, it happened above the main walkway into the building.

Luckily, the woman managed to catch the pane of glass as it slipped out of its frame.

Comments (6)

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11:06am Fri 17 Jan 14

scrounger‎ says...

I was nearly hit by a gin bottle thrown from above as I walked past Malvern some time before the window stops were fitted.
I was nearly hit by a gin bottle thrown from above as I walked past Malvern some time before the window stops were fitted. scrounger‎
  • Score: 11

5:42pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Bolt them shut, no need for them to be opened.
Bolt them shut, no need for them to be opened. Nowthatsworthknowing
  • Score: 0

6:08pm Fri 17 Jan 14

jolllyboy says...

So what do they do in the event of a fire and need to attract attention, what if the weather is exceptionally hot are S.E. Homes going to provide air-conditioning. need completely replacing. take legal advice.
So what do they do in the event of a fire and need to attract attention, what if the weather is exceptionally hot are S.E. Homes going to provide air-conditioning. need completely replacing. take legal advice. jolllyboy
  • Score: 0

6:19pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

jolllyboy wrote:
So what do they do in the event of a fire and need to attract attention, what if the weather is exceptionally hot are S.E. Homes going to provide air-conditioning. need completely replacing. take legal advice.
When you work and pay for your castle, then you can have the windows of your dreams, meanwhile do as your told.
[quote][p][bold]jolllyboy[/bold] wrote: So what do they do in the event of a fire and need to attract attention, what if the weather is exceptionally hot are S.E. Homes going to provide air-conditioning. need completely replacing. take legal advice.[/p][/quote]When you work and pay for your castle, then you can have the windows of your dreams, meanwhile do as your told. Nowthatsworthknowing
  • Score: -7

11:47pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Devils Advocate says...

They had much the same problem at the tower block in Southend hospital, which led to the windows being bolted shut, and sick people unable to get fresh air.
Fine if you are an overpaid, underworked thieving scumbag who has short-paid his workforce to make himself obscenely rich by putting his fair paid workforce on the dole and employing illegals at below the minimum living wage. Then you just move to a more expensive house and throw more people out of work to pay for it!
I think that is what "NOWTHATSWORTHKNOWIN
G" Meant when he posted the offensive comment above.
They had much the same problem at the tower block in Southend hospital, which led to the windows being bolted shut, and sick people unable to get fresh air. Fine if you are an overpaid, underworked thieving scumbag who has short-paid his workforce to make himself obscenely rich by putting his fair paid workforce on the dole and employing illegals at below the minimum living wage. Then you just move to a more expensive house and throw more people out of work to pay for it! I think that is what "NOWTHATSWORTHKNOWIN G" Meant when he posted the offensive comment above. Devils Advocate
  • Score: -3

8:21am Fri 7 Feb 14

Kurtmay says...

These windows should never have been fitted in the first place.. terrible design .. The stoppers that have been put in were much needed, I have been the victim of damage to my car on several occasions due to tins of paint and bags of food (frozen lasagne)
The argument of not enough air flow is ridiculous and the cleaning of the outside isn't paramount where the blocks or window's are concerned safety is.
The man on the 13th floor is my dad . On this occasion the whole window fell snapping at the rotary arms that connect it to the outer framing, not just the glass pane.
These windows should never have been fitted in the first place.. terrible design .. The stoppers that have been put in were much needed, I have been the victim of damage to my car on several occasions due to tins of paint and bags of food (frozen lasagne) The argument of not enough air flow is ridiculous and the cleaning of the outside isn't paramount where the blocks or window's are concerned safety is. The man on the 13th floor is my dad . On this occasion the whole window fell snapping at the rotary arms that connect it to the outer framing, not just the glass pane. Kurtmay
  • Score: 0

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