A fire service has conducted a thorough investigation of their buildings after national concerns about RAAC.

Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) was used as a construction material but has been found to have a life expectancy of around 30 years.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) said that some of their buildings had the potential for having RAAC in the structures.

As a precaution, the RBFRS has conducted a preliminary investigation into the presence of RAAC across its entire estate.

Several fire stations were identified as having the potential for RAAC due to the age of the building and construction type.

Structural engineers were instructed to complete a more invasive assessment at four buildings where RAAC was suspected following an initial internal investigation.

For 48 hours, whilst the Service awaited the attendance of a structural engineer at Wokingham Road Fire Station in Reading, crews started and finished their shifts from the neighbouring station in Caversham Road.

All four sites have now been assessed by external qualified engineers and are deemed to be safe for occupation and use.

Councillor Jeff Brooks, Chair of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority said: “It was right for the Service to be proactive and act swiftly to ensure the structural integrity of our buildings and protect the safety of our staff.

"The work undertaken has provided us with reassurance that we can continue to operate from the right locations to provide an outstanding service to residents across Berkshire.

"This was highlighted by an improvement to our overall response time during 2022/23, reducing the average time it takes to respond to emergencies by 22 seconds, when compared to a decade ago (2012/13).

“The Fire Authority continues to invest in the estate and equipment to strengthen our capability to respond to communities across Berkshire.”

Some further specialist testing is required on an internal section of a training tower at Newbury Fire Station. An alternative training facility is available for use while this remains out of use.