Fire Safety at Howard Cottage
Howard Cottage fire safety information
The Grenfell Tower tragedy in June 2017 increased the national focus on fire safety in social housing but at Howard Cottage we have always taken this responsibility seriously on behalf of our residents.
We do not have any tower blocks like Grenfell Tower but we do have low-rise multi-occupancy blocks for both general needs and sheltered housing residents.
Fire risk assessment
The safety of our residents take priority at all times. We have been working very closely with the local fire service to make sure that our shared accommodation buildings and our fire safety procedures comply with fire regulations and have produced an informative leaflet to assist residents to stay safe in their homes
In the past twelve months, working closely with the local fire service, we carried out a comprehensive fire risk assessment across our three sheltered schemes, our Flexicare scheme and our general needs blocks. This resulted in a number of ‘action points’ for each of the buildings we assessed – you can read a summary of our progress:
The summary will be updated regularly as the actions are completed.
We want to encourage residents to continue to work with us and take preventative actions such as avoiding leaving rubbish in communal areas or propping fire doors open.
Please note it is your responsibility to test your smoke alarms and to replace the batteries. If there is a problem with the smoke alarm after you have replaced the battery please contact us immediately and request a repair.
Howard Cottage responsibilities
We employ the services of an independent fire risk assessor The Health and Safety People (THSP) and a company called Protec Fire & Security to carry out fire safety checks.
Protec visits all our blocks and sheltered schemes where fire alarm systems are installed on a six monthly basis and tests and services the units as well as reporting any defects or areas for concern to us.
THSP undertake an annual Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) on our behalf with any recommendations logged and programmed into our operatives’ work schedules. A link to the latest FRA's appears above.
All other properties have been installed with one smoke detector per floor level (one in a flat and two in a house) as per the fire regulations. If you have a gas boiler in your property your smoke alarms will also be tested once a year by our gas contractor as part of the annual service.
Residents in flats should report any defective communal smoke detectors or fire doors so that these can be resolved quickly.
Howard Cottage has recently adopted a new policy of upgrading all our fire protection equipment including additional heat detectors to be fitted in all our communal blocks, bin stores and any other areas deemed necessary. These will be supplemented by a visual beacon situated at the main entrance door to all blocks.
Stay put policy
Residents in multi-occupancy buildings should follow the instructions for their own building, however it is usually safer for residents to stay put, call 999 and wait for the emergency services, preferably in a room with a window, rather than entering smoky corridors where it could be difficult to see.
Doors, walls and floors are capable of withstanding fire for long enough for the emergency services to arrive and deal with the fire. The fire service will be able to safely evacuate all or part of the building if necessary. This remains the accepted best practice for most multi occupancy buildings.