In the months following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in London, we have taken swift action to ensure the safety of our high-rise residents. This update covers what we have done so far and the on-going work we are undertaking.
A 24/7 waking watch was immediately put in place in all of our high-rise buildings in June 2017. This is still in place in some of our high-rise buildings and will remain until we have completed the works necessary to release them on a block by block basis. We are working with GMFRS on this and residents are being advised in advance when the waking watch is going to be removed.
We commissioned a specialist fire safety company to undertake in-depth (type 3 and type 4) Fire Risk Assessments in all high rise buildings. These are now complete and a summary of the actions and the dates for completion is displayed in the foyer of each building.
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 flats and we have made significant progress on this with the cooperation of our residents.
We are replacing the ACM cladding on all of our high rise buildings This work commenced in January 2018 and is expected to be complete in early 2019.
Our independent fire engineering specialist is working with us on a fire safety strategy which will look at a number of areas including our fire evacuation strategy, training requirements, record keeping and auditing.
We have updated high rise residents regularly via our on site caretakers, hand delivered letters, newsletters and on site briefing sessions as well as individual meetings as and when required. Our website is also regularly updated.
We have appointed a dedicated customer liaison officer for the duration of the programme of fire safety works who is regularly on site and available to visit people to speak to them about any concerns they may have.
We have recently established a high rise resident’s forum and will be holding our first meeting next week (13 March).
We are making preparations to fit 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 be in 2019.