FRONT entrance doors of 800 flats across Wyre Forest have failed fire safety tests and are having to be replaced.

But tenants have been assured that fire safety precautions have been stepped up while the nine-month replacement programme is completed.

The flats – all low rise and mainly in Kidderminster - are owned by The Community Housing Group who have written to all the tenants and local councillors to explain the situation and reassure them.

Work was scheduled to start this week, with flats at Masefield Gardens top of the list, followed by Wordsworth Crescent and Keats Place in Kidderminster.

The full schedule is on the housing group’s website.

New fire risk assessments have been carried out at the flats, and weekly inspections have been put in place as part of a series of measures to increase fire safety while the work is being done.

The housing group said: “The doors were manufactured by a specialist fire door company and should have met fire safety standards. However, when we recently sent a selection of doors for independent testing, they did not meet the fire resistance test. We have taken the decision to replace all the doors as a precaution.”

The Community Housing Group said it has consulted with the fire service to develop a "robust and accelerated" replacement programme.

New precautions include:

• Weekly inspections to make sure combustible items or other obstructions have not been stored on escape routes

• Prioritising fire related repairs that come into our contact centre and responding within 24 hours.

• A fire risk assessment

The flats have smoke alarms and have Electrical Conditions Inspection Reports.

Residents are being given additional advice about fire safety in the home, and there is extra help for vulnerable residents.