Building a Safer Future - what do you need to know


Here we explain the building and fire safety work (Building a Safer Future) that we will be doing. to our buildings.  This work is to make your buiding as safe as possible. Once we have done this work we will know a lot of detail about the building and you will need  to keep us updated if you want to make any changes to your home – such as installing broadband or changinge your front door.  
 

What does it mean for me?  

We need you take part and engage with us. We will be sending out an initial survey to understand how you feel about fire safety in the building and how you would like us to engage with you.  We will then send regular updates and ask for feedback on what we are doing. 

Once we have completed any work to the building there we need you to do and some things you won’t be able to do these are:  (this list may change so please keep an eye on the website) 

DO DON'T
 let us know if you have any issues with your front doors -does the self closer work? -(door close properly on its own), are there excessive gaps between door and the frame?   
 do any work on your property  - changing the floor, putting in a new kitchen or bathroom, installing broadband without letting us know first 

 let us know if you are locked out and need access – we will have to recharge you for any costs  
install security gates 
let us know if there are any issues with the fire alarm   leave items in communal areas. 
let us know if you have any fire or safety concerns  replace your front door without authorisation- we need a certificate to make sure that it meets fire safety requirements.
let us know if you are planning to have any contractors in doing works and send through what these works are. We need to authorise any work you have done – this includes virgin or sky installation...    

 

What is Building a Safer future? 

We are committed to providing homes that are safe for you to live in and have been following Government guidance, working in partnership with the London Fire Brigade.   

We are starting to gather information on all of our buildings to fully capture the construction and design details along with all external materials used. 
 
Some of our buildings will require a certificate of compliance under new Government guidelines but the process of obtaining that does not mean the building is unsafe. Your building will have been signed off by Building Control at the time it was built and been subject to regular Fire Risk Assessments ever since. 

Which buildings are included? 

We have categorised all of our tall buildings (Government Guidance is 18m), on factors such as height, construction, types of cladding and fire mitigation measures and are about to undertake surveys on some of our blocks. Other priority buildings will be looked at over the next few years, but this is a national issue affecting all building owners and there is a huge demand on a limited number of approved fire engineers and competent contractors.  

What fire safety measure are in place? 

We’ve carried out in-depth fire risk assessments on all our residential blocks, and invested over £3.4 million in strengthening our fire safety measures. To make the work we've done as transparent and accessible as possible we built an on line portal so you can quickly access the Fire Risk Assessment for your block or building. 
 

Our team regularly review progress on completing fire risk actions and carry out compliance checks (for example on gas, water, electricity and lift installations) so if we identify a risk we immediately put in place measures to reduce that risk until we are able to get it fixed.  We complete estate inspections quarterly and have a contractor who is installing and maintaining fire doors where needed. 
 

A building ‘safety case’ 

We need to have what is a known as a ‘safety case’ for all of the buildings which fit within the Building a Safer future programme. A ‘safety case’ sets out how the building is being kept safe and it is clear who is responsible for keeping the building safe. 

This involves: 

  • Creating an  ‘accountable person’ role who will be the dutyholder responsible for making sure that building fire and structural safety risks are reduced as much as reasonably practicable when people are living in the building.
     

  • Overseeing a ‘safety case’ which contains all the important information about a building that shows how the dutyholders will manage  any fire or structural risks on an ongoing basis. 
     

  • The Building Safety Manager helps the accountable person by doing the day-to-day work involved with keeping a building safe. For example the Building Safety Manager would be there to deal with any safety problems they find or are reported by residents in the block(s) they are responsible for. 

 

To build the safety case we will need to survey the building so we have a record of its structure. 

What will happen as part of the checks? 

We will start by completing an intrusive surveys look at how the building was constructed, the materials used and whether fire safety standards are met. These surveys are carried out by specialist fire experts approved by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. The surveys can involve samples being taken of the external wall system, such as cladding, so its performance in fire can be examined. 

What happens next? 

Once we have the results of the survey we will plan any remedial work needed and keep you updated with what that is and when it will be done. 

There will be no cost to you for any work that needs to done.  

How are residents involved? 

The Building a safer future programme will give residents a stronger voice and allow them to hold those responsible for the safety of their buildings to account. You will have better access to information about your building and have more of a say over decisions made about the fire and structural safety of their building. 

You will also be able to access more detailed information about building and fire safety by requesting it from the accountable person. The accountable person will only be able to refuse to provide information for specified reasons (e.g. that sharing the information would be a security risk or would divulge personal information). 

You will have a key role in keeping your buildings safe 

.We will make it easy for you to raise safety concerns, have a clear process for how we will respond to you. 

If you feel we have not dealt with your fire safety concerns you will be able to take them to the new regulator.