Our internal investigation in relation to fire safety in our high-rise blocks continues and this work remains an absolute priority for our organisation. Below is an update on our activity in the past few weeks since our last update on 4 September.
The design and characteristics of each of our 17 high-rise blocks is different and therefore our approach is tailored to each individual block. We are communicating with residents in each block when we have information that relates to their home.
We have commenced the installation of fire alarms in some of our blocks and heat detectors will be installed in each individual property, as well as in communal areas. We will be installing fire alarms in all of our high-rise blocks this year as previously communicated.
This will require our high-rise residents to allow our contractor, AGS, access to their home in order to fully complete the installation, therefore this work will be a rolling programme where initial installation takes place and then the contractor will return to complete the work to any properties that they could not initially access.
It is really important for everyone’s safety that our contractor is allowed access to carry out this work.
Once the fire alarm is fully installed and tested, residents will be informed about how it will work and what the evacuation procedure is for their block. We will also be arranging annual fire evacuation exercises at each block to ensure that all residents are clear on what to do if the alarm is raised.
In depth fire risk assessments (FRA’s)
Fire Risk Assessments (called type 3 and 4) are underway at all blocks and these are being completed by an independent fire safety company.
The Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) have now completed all of their initial inspections of residential high rises in Greater Manchester to ensure they comply with fire safety regulations to ensure all buildings receive the right fire safety advice and residents feel safe in their homes. We have a rolling programme to action any remedial works identified that require attention and GMFRS will be monitoring the progress.
24 Hour Wakeful Watch
Once the fire alarm is operational in a block, we will obtain external approval from GMFRS that the 24 hour wakeful watch can be removed at that block.
Cladding Replacement Programme
We have appointed a contractor, Wates, to carry out replacement of the cladding to all the blocks affected.
The programme for replacement is currently being established and residents of individual blocks will be notified when it is agreed. It will take around 12 months to complete the work to all blocks.
We have also appointed an independent chartered fire engineer, Tenos, who will give assurance that the completed works meet the safety standards required.