Measures not seen since Nazi Germany rained incendiary bombs down upon a beleaguered Britain have returned to our cities in the wake of the tragic events at Grenfell Towers.
Fire Watchers are now active in Towns and Cities around the UK once more!
Residents and Owners of flats and penthouses are finding out that their “Castles in the Sky” are not quite as safe as they thought they were when they bought or moved into them.
Long held, “Stay Put Polices” in the event of a fire emergency, have been undone by poorly implemented and supervised construction and renovation projects, which have seen flammable insulation products used to clad external and internal structures.
New advice for administrators/managers of any building above 18 Metres high has been issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). These advise on the assessment of and remedial measures for high-rise residential buildings.
The most recent guidance is its Advice for Building Owners of Multi-storey, Multi-occupied Residential Buildings, issued January 2020 (MHCLG Consolidated Guidance), which states that:
“Building owners or their appointed competent professional advisors(s) should check that the external wall systems on their buildings meet an acceptable standard of safety and do not contribute to the external spread of fire, irrespective of building height.”
Local Authorities, Managing Agents and Building Committees examining their buildings against this advice, have had their worlds turned upside down by engineer’s reports highlighting significant deficiencies; many of which demand immediate action to keep the occupants safe in the event of a fire.
Precision Safety Services Ltd have been asked to consider several projects to install Specialist Fire Alarm Systems to buildings that are currently being “watched” day and night by teams employed specifically to spot a fire and raise the alarm.
These Alarm Systems will replace the costly “Watching Teams”, that are in no way a long term solution, and will provide immediate warning throughout a Tower Block whenever a fire starts, even if a property is unoccupied.
These are not the only requirements being demanded, as Fire Officers are finally listened to and measures that have long been available, such as Sprinkler Systems, are now becoming legal requirements.
Reports are being read and expensive retrospective remedial works to cladding and “Fire Separation” measures are being considered and implemented across the UK.
Only once all these measures are in place will the “Stay Put Policy” return!
Should you wish for your building to be examined against the new criteria for Tower Block Fire Safety, please contact us and one of our consultants will be able assist you.
Until then stay vigilant! Stay safe!