A Ramsgate tower block targeted by bin chute arsonist is to get a fire alarm upgrade

Photo Kerry Keating

The fire alarm system at a Ramsgate tower block is to be upgraded.

Work will be carried out at Trove Court, in Newcastle Hill, by PJC Electrical from this morning (July 12) and is due to be completed by August 4.

In a letter to residents PJC say the firm was instructed to carry out the work by landlord East Kent Housing.

The letter states: “These works will incur some noise by drilling of walls and testing of the newly-installed system.”


The upgrade comes less than two weeks after mum-of-two Claire Smyth raised concerns because of faults showing on the fire alarm system.

Claire and her boys Benjamin, 13, and Dylan, 8, had been in the flats for just days when they spent their first Saturday night  at the property sat outside in the cold after arsonists targeted the block’s rubbish chute yet again.

Trove Court has suffered a series of deliberately set fires in the chute over the last few months, prompting Kent Police to issue an appeal for information on the culprits.

Claire,40, said the alarm fault lights have been on since she moved in and she felt so unsafe she had an ‘evacuation bag’ by the front door.

Photo Kerry Keating

Trove Court – as well as Kennedy House, Brunswick Court, Harbour Tower, Invicta House, and Staner Court – is managed by East Kent Housing.

Weekly test

Thanet council deputy leader Lin Fairbrass said the alarm system is tested weekly.

She said: “We test the fire alarm system weekly at Trove Court, with ad hoc tests in between. When a red light appears on the alarm panel, this is an indicator that there is a minor fault across a number of working items – it does not mean that the alarm system is not working, and it does not prevent the alarm system from going off.”

Right direction

Labour county councillor for Ramsgate, Karen Constantine, said the upgrade was a step in the right direction.

She said: “Following a series of emails and meetings raising the ‘faulty’ alarms and other issues, work is now being undertaken to improve safety. There is more to be done but this is a step in the right direction.”

Police are asking anyone with information about the arson attacks to call the appeal line on 01843 222289. Alternatively call Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.