Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower this week, we understand that this will have raised a number of concerns amongst some of our residents. Although this tragic incident related to tower blocks, we do understand that you may need reassurance about our approach to fire safety.
Fire Risk Assessments
We are required to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment of any building that contains more than one individual dwelling where there are any shared or communal spaces; for instance hallways, stair cases, lobbies, laundry rooms, communal lounges etc.
We are required to carry out Fire Risk Assessments at least every two years. In order to ensure our approach to fire safety is robust we actually carry these assessments annually.
We have reviewed the schemes where we are required to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment and each one has an up to date assessment in place.
Evacuation Policy for Your Housing Scheme
We use our Fire Risk Assessments to decide what Evacuation policy is most appropriate for each scheme. If you live in one of our schemes with shared communal spaces please take the time to look at the Fire Safety Notice which will tell you whether you should evacuate or stay put in the event of a fire. The Fire Safety Notice will be displayed in a prominent place in the communal areas.
If you live at one of our schemes that operates a ‘stay put’ policy this has been implemented because the Fire Risk Assessment has established that the fabric of the building will provide sufficient fire protection for you to remain within your home for long enough for the Fire Brigade to arrive at the scheme and asses the best course of action. If in the event of a fire there is fire or smoke in your home or you no longer feel safe remaining within your home, then you must evacuate to a safe place away from the building.
If you live at a scheme that operates an evacuation policy please familiarise yourself with the escape routes and plan how you will leave the building in event of a fire.
If you live at one of our schemes where there are shared corridors, hallways, staircases etc. please make sure that you do not store or leave any items or possessions in these communal areas. Items stored in these areas can obstruct the means of escape and provide further combustible material should there be a fire.
Maintenance of Emergency Systems
All of our schemes with communal areas are equipped with some form of emergency system to assist residents and the Fire Brigade in the event of a fire. Crown Simmons takes a robust approach to maintaining these systems; emergency lighting is tested monthly and serviced every six months, Fire Alarms which are tested weekly and serviced every six months and Automated Smoke Vents which are tested monthly and serviced annually.
Please make sure that you test the smoke alarms in your home every week and that you change the battery if the alarm begins to chip to alert you that the battery is running low. Please be aware that smoke alarms that are wired in to a mains electrical supply also have a back up battery that will need to be replaced when it reaches the end of its life. If you don’t have a smoke alarm in your home you may be eligible for a free alarm from your local Fire Brigade.
We’ll keep our policies under review, taking direction from the fire service and independent specialists. We will also make sure we comply with any recommendations made as a result of the investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire.
If you have any concerns regarding fire safety please contact Crown Simmons on 01372 461440, or your local Fire Brigade for further advice.