Premier Inn to replace cladding on 12 hotels following Grenfell disaster
Premier Inn will be replacing the cladding on 12 of its 780 hotels over fire safety concerns.
The properties affected include: Bedford Riverside, Bristol Lewins Mead, Glasgow Buchanan Galleries, Hemel Hempstead Central, Brentford, London Ealing, Gatwick North Terminal, Heathrow T4, Tottenham Hale, London Waterloo, Maidenhead Town Centre and Woking Town Centre.
Hotel groups began reviewing their fire safety procedures and materials used in their buildings last year following the Grenfell Tower fire, which ripped through the apartment block in west London in June 2017, killing 72.
Premier Inn expressed concerns shortly after about the cladding on several of its properties. Independent fire safety experts have reviewed all the group's hotels with cladding over 18m and found 12 no longer meet regulations.
The company said the hotels remain safe to operate due to their "robust" fire safety and evacuation procedures, and that the decision has been voluntary to replace the cladding, which will be replaced as quickly as possible.
A spokesperson for Premier Inn said: "Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our guests and team members and so, as a responsible business, we immediately and voluntarily took the decision to have our hotels with cladding over 18m assessed by independent fire safety experts in the days following the Grenfell tragedy.
"This is because of our robust fire safety and evacuation procedures, which include bedroom doors which are fire-resistant and self-closing to prevent fire spreading; sub-divided corridors separated by fire resistant doors; and multiple means of exit. Unlike residential blocks of flats, we do not operate a 'stay put policy'; our teams are well-trained to evacuate a hotel at the first sign of fire; and there are smoke detectors and fire alarms in every single bedroom.
"Although our hotels have been independently assessed as entirely safe to operate irrespective of the cladding used and we've not received any request to change the cladding on any of our hotels, we've nonetheless taken the voluntary decision to replace it on the small number of properties involved and we're doing this by working with the relevant local authorities, contractors, developers and landlords.
"Given the unprecedented context including the time that's needed to test for appropriate replacements, the shortage of cladding nationally and long lead times to order, this is a complicated issue, but we're committed to ensuring that the cladding is being replaced as fast as is possible."
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