In 2021/22 we will be undertaking a significant refurbishment programme on the 43 of our blocks of flats which have internal communal areas. This will involve improving the fire safety of the blocks as well as the decoration in the communal area.
What works are required?
Between December 2020 and March 2021 we undertook a series of statutory fire risk assessments on our blocks. The type of assessment we commissioned was more comprehensive than previously and identified that some improvements were required to bring the properties up to a more modern standard of fire safety. The precise nature of the work is still at the design phase, but will include elements such as:
- Replacing the flat front doors with modern fire doors.
- Improving the fire stopping between flats.
- Repainting the communal areas.
- Installing nosing’s on the staircases.
- Repairing and deep cleaning the communal area flooring.
Who are we working with?
The Fire Risk Assessments and compartmentation survey were completed by Pennington Choices. We have appointed Croft Architectural Services to undertake the design work for the improvements. Once the design work has been completed we will be able to approach contractors to complete the works.
When will the works start?
Once a contractor is appointed we will work with them to agree a programme of works and contact each household individually to advise of the anticipated start dates. We are hoping to start on site in early summer.
Will I have to move out for the works to be completed?
At this stage we believe it will be possible for the works to be completed without it being necessary for people to move out. If however this becomes a necessity, we will work with you to find temporary alternative accommodation. It will however be necessary for you to give access to the contractors to allow them to complete the works.
What should I do in the event of a fire?
The current policy is that in the event of a fire you should evacuate the building.
I’m concerned I may not be able to evacuate due to my health. What should I do?
If you have concerns about your ability to evacuate, please contact your Housing Officer. Your Housing Officer will arrange to complete a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan with you which will give you the advice and guidance you need.
What do you currently do to minimise the risk of fire?
We currently inspect the communal areas of our blocks on a regular basis to ensure that they are free from hazards. We also test the emergency lighting and fire alarms on a frequent basis to ensure that they are functioning as expected. Where people are potentially vulnerable, we can work with them to put in place additional measures to ensure their safety in the unlikely event of a fire.
What can I do to reduce the risk of fire and improve fire safety?
There are a number of simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of fire or ensure that if a fire was to occur that you could leave the building safely.
- Leave communal areas free from belongings. If you need guidance on our communal area policy please contact your housing officer
- From upper floor flats, items should not be stored in the loft space.
- Ensuring cigarettes are fully extinguished.
- Allowing access for cyclical gas and electrical testing to make sure the installations are safe.
- Not leaving cooking, candles or other naked flames unattended.
- Keeping flammable items away from electric fires.
- Ensuring that your smoke alarms works and testing it regularly.
Will I be able to have a say in the decoration of the communal area?
Yes! We are working to put together a series of options for tenants to consider.
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