Fire Safety Update – 25 January 2019
At the end of last year, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced that the government would fund the removal and replacement of cladding which failed the safety tests undertaken by the BRE. We are pleased to report that we have now received some funding (just under half of the total cost) to help with our fire safety programme of works, which is well underway and will continue for as long as is required until we are satisfied that all possible safety measures have been put in place to protect our residents. Following the Hackitt Review in May, we have implemented a fire safety action plan to ensure that we are adhering to the latest guidance from government.
Below is the latest update on the actions we have taken to ensure the safety of all of our high-rise residents living in our tower blocks.
Cladding replacement programme
The main cladding replacement works have been completed on the following blocks; Thomas Court, Ledburn Court, Westcott Court, Hornchurch Court, Royce Court and Duffield Court, Platt Court, Worsley Court, Bickerdike Court and Hulme Court.
Work is underway at Meredith Court, Fulton Court and Hopton Court and due to be complete in March.
Works are due to start in the next few weeks at Abbey Court, Cornwall Court and Cundiff Court.
All cladding replacement works are due to be complete by the summer.
24/7 waking watch
The 24/7 waking watch which was immediately put in place in all of our high-rise buildings in June 2017 has now been removed from all of our blocks as we have completed the necessary fire safety works and we have received confirmation from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) that our evacuation policy is appropriate.
We made the decision to install fire alarms in all high-rise buildings and these are now operational in communal areas in all high rise blocks. There is a rolling programme of work to install heat detectors in individual homes and we have made significant progress on this with the cooperation of our residents with 77% of individual heat detectors now installed in homes. We will continue with this programme until all flats have heat detectors installed. We encourage any residents who have not had a heat detector installed to contact us as soon as possible to arrange this.
We are putting together an annual programme of communal alarm tests and residents will be informed in advance of any tests at their block.
Fire Risk Assessments (FRA’s)
We commissioned a specialist fire safety company to undertake in-depth (type 3 and type 4) Fire Risk Assessments in all high rise buildings. The type 3 FRA’s are now complete and a summary of the actions and the dates for completion is displayed in the foyer of each building. We have a programme to carry out type 4 surveys in empty properties.
Fire stopping works / compartmentation
A specialist contractor, Ventro was appointed in January 2018 to check any fire stopping work (compartmentation) and address any areas identified and this work is now complete.
We are working with GMFRS and our colleagues across GM in looking at the options for sprinkler systems across all of our high-rise blocks and will provide more information on this before we commit to a full programme of fit-out work which is likely to commence in 2019.
We would like to thank residents for their support whilst the various works are carried out to their home. We recognise that some of the work can be disruptive but our aim is to ensure the safety of everyone that lives in and visits our tower blocks.