Are Cyprus high-rise buildings in line with modern fire safety regulations?
Following rising concerns from the recent Glenfell tower block fire that killed many people in London, authorities in Cyprus have been responding to concerns about the fire safety measures in the influx of tall buildings scattered across the island with skyscrapers planned in Limassol. Fire safety officials have reassured the public that the appropriate safety measures are fully in place in Cyprus.
The lethal fire at Grenfell tower raised serious regulation questions after it spread so quickly, overwhelming the 24-storey council block in the early hours last month where the UK government has started a public enquiry over the controversial cladding used to renovate the building several years ago.
In Cyprus, Head of the Interior Committee stated that the incident highlighted the importance of bringing fire safety legislation in Cyprus up to date in order to avoid any incidents in 8 major building projects set to be completed in Limassol over the next 5 years, with seven permits currently in the process of being evaluated.
Fire services spokesman stated the measures already implemented in Cyprus high rise buildings include fire exit stairwells, a firefighting lift and fire sprinklers in every room. Additionally, there are preventative steps taken from the planning stage such as EU approved and regulated material that will prevent a fire from spreading too quickly.
So new buildings are fully regulated, have the older buildings also been evaluated? According to reports earlier this month, Limassol municipality raised concerned about older apartment blocks that are in risk of collapse. There are approximately 15 tower blocks in Limassol and as Cyprus that are considered to be high risk if an earthquake occurs. Another issue raised was that many apartment buildings do not have committees with tenants keeping an eye out on any required building upkeep.
Moreover, building owners in Cyprus live in buildings in dire need of renewal often are reluctant to renovate themselves due to the high costs associated could also be endangering themselves regarding appropriate fire safety measures. Discussions are due to take place to resolve safety measures in the long-standing and derelict buildings on the island.