Fire Safety Update - January
As you know, work has been ongoing to develop a programme of fire safety works across all blocks and we are now at the stage where we are pleased to inform you that a number of measures have begun.
We fully understand that residents are keen to see progress on these works and this update should provide you with as much information as possible. During February 2019 you will start to see activities commencing in your block.
Cladding replacement programme
We have previously written to advise you that measures were being put in place in order to start the cladding works. The final tender document for the cladding replacement programme, which will be used in deciding on a contractor to undertake the work, is being prepared at the moment.
This has been developed after careful consideration of all government guidance. We expect to issue the tender to the construction industry in the spring and that will subsequently confirm who the contractor will be during the summer. We therefore anticipate that the programme of replacement would then start in full in the early autumn.
Individual heat alarms in each apartment
Last year we consulted residents about installing a sounding heat alarm in every home, which will be linked to the fire alarm system on each block.
We are pleased to inform you that Fieldway Group are the contractors who have been selected to carry out this work.
During February we will be holding drop in sessions to provide all residents with an opportunity to learn about the news alarms that will be installed in your homes. In addition to offering drop in sessions we will contact you to arrange a convenient time to come and fit the alarm.
We will be working to minimise disruption, however, if you have any concerns please attend one of the drop in sessions or call in to Brotherton House to speak to one of our Resident Liaison Team.
Surveys of communal areas in blocks have taken place. This will be followed by in-depth surveys of every communal fire door and a programme to replace doors where necessary in February.
A process has been followed and Truline has been selected to carry out the work. We will be working closely with them to ensure that there is minimum disruption during the work, which we expect to start in the next few months.
Recent evacuation at Salix Court
Fire marshals successfully carried out an evacuation of Salix Court in January, due to an accidental fire in the bin room following something hot being thrown down a rubbish chute.
Please can we remind everyone to follow the fire procedures and let us know without delay if you are aware of anyone who is doing anything to put the safety of the building and residents at risk.
Can we also thank residents who responded to the evacuation and left the building safely and promptly. Staff from Pendleton Together were onsite and opened respite facilities to assist residents to remain warm during the period they were unable to access their home.
In the two working days following the evacuation, Pendleton Together staff visited all of those affected and spoke to 44 tenants to offer reassurance and get feedback from how the evacuation had been carried out.
During the course of the visits to residents we have found that there were some queries about the processes in place. Here are the answers to some of the questions raised:
Q1. I didn’t hear the fire alarms
The sounders are set to the maximum legal limit allowed in communal areas. These sounders are to support the work of the fire marshals who are patrolling all floors on a 24-hour basis and will alert residents who may be in communal areas on stairwells or in their homes, that they need to evacuate from the block.
Q2. I didn’t hear the fire marshal claxons
The fire marshals first step is to raise the alarm on the floor where the fire alarm has been activities and to evacuate that floor. Their next step is to raise the alarm on the floor above and the floor below before evacuation.
Q3. If it was only a small fire, why did we have to evacuate?
Residents should start an evacuation if they hear alarms, claxons, or are directed to leave their home until such time as any other advice is issued. If it is a false alarm the marshals will not sound the claxons and will later provide residents with an update as to what has occurred.
Q4. No one knocked on my door?
Fire marshals will sound claxons as describe in answer to Q2. They may also raise their voice and try to raise awareness if there is an emergency. Residents should not wait for a knock on your door before evacuating.
Q5. The evacuation point at the Gateway is too far away
We recognise that this was difficult for some residents on the evening. We are reviewing suitable alternative points and will update you once completed. In the meantime please continue to use the Gateway if you are able or move as far away as you can from the area.
Following the feedback, Pendleton Together are contacting all residents to advise them to prepare for evacuation by knowing the alarm process and having any vital medication to hand.
One resident said: “The fire marshals were amazing. They were very quick to respond and get everybody out.”