An investigation has been launched by Redbridge Council after the Guardian discovered serious safety lapses in a Woodford Green tower block.

The door to the electrical room in Blenheim Court on the Orchard Estate has been left open and unsecured, allowing free access to the high voltage cables.

A number of old heating units marked with ‘Danger Asbestos’ stickers were also found lying unattended in a communal area within the 11 storey block.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “Our priority is the safety and well-being of our residents and visitors at all times.

“The door entry system to Blenheim Court should have not been accessible without permission and we will be looking into why the door was not locked.

The electricity cupboard was previously cordoned off, however there should have been someone on site to prevent unauthorised access.

“If the electricity cupboard was left unattended it should have been locked. A full investigation will be launched with our contractors on this issue.

“The removal and testing for hazardous material of the storage heaters is being undertaken by a specialist firm of contractors as a precautionary measure.

“All removals are carried out in a controlled environment. The heaters are bagged and sealed to prevent tampering and taken off site.

“Some of the heaters have been dismantled and tested in secure environments for asbestos.

“Every storage heater removed so far, which has gone through this process has indicated no trace of asbestos.”