Keeping your home safe with electrical, gas and fire safety checks
22 June 2021
We've been working hard with our contractors to maintain services over the last 12 months. Our compliance and repairs services were fully operational with all of our contractors observing Government working guidance, wearing PPE and following correct practices when entering residents' homes. Our services have been slightly affected by the pandemic but we are proactively communicating with residents who have been affected.
We've maintained compliance statistics at 100% over the last few months which in the current climate is a massive achievement. This means we've completed 100% gas safety checks on homes. We would like to thank all our residents who have been cooperative by arranging and keeping appointments. We urge you to continue providing us access to your home so we can ensure it is safe.
Electrical testing programmes
Our contractors have started the 2021/22 electrical testing programme and continue to wrap up the 2020/21 programme. A number of residents have not provided access during the 2020/21 programme. We will be contacting those residents via phone and letter over the next few weeks. We urge you to engage with our team and our contractors to schedule an appointment so that we can complete the electrical tests in your home and make sure that it is operating safely. We will be as flexible as possible with appointment dates so please call 0300 373 3000 in advance of your appointment if you’d like to change it.
Over the last six months, we've focused our efforts to improve sprinkler servicing and are pleased to report we're currently operating at 97% compliance. This programme requires us to pressure test the sprinkler system and access every property to inspect the sprinkler heads. The sprinkler heads are inspected for any damage that may impact with effectiveness of the sprinkler system should the system be activated. Achieving and maintaining 97% compliance is a great achievement as this is a programme that we stopped in the early part of 2020/21 due to the pandemic. The service has recovered and improved compliance within a short space of time which has been possible through collaborative working between our team, our contractor, and residents. We have a small number of homes that we have not been able to access and we urge the relevant residents and leaseholders to book an appointment as soon as possible.
Fire Risk Assessments
We’ve been working hard to continue our fire safety work and maintain 100% compliance by ensuring all our buildings have a comprehensive and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment (FRA). We also have a number of large programmes currently in place and well underway to upgrade and/or enhance fire safety precautions within our buildings.
We are actively inspecting and monitoring the communal areas of our buildings. Personal items located in communal areas pose a significant risk to the safety of the building as they obstruct escape routes and limit safe movement. For this reason, we apply a zero-tolerance policy which means we will remove any personal items left in communal areas without notice. This includes items left in riser cupboards. Please remember, we are not responsible for reimbursing any costs or damages to residents should we dispose of your items; you may also be charged for any removal of items from the communal areas of your building.
Smoke extraction improvement at Winicotte House
We've just completed extensive work to the smoke extraction system (AOV system) at Winicotte House, W2 after we discovered major issues with it. The AOV system is designed to help with the extraction of smoke from the escape routes in the building if a fire occurred. Due to the age and condition of the system it was no longer fit for purpose and repairing it would not have been an effective solution.
We decided to completely replace the system, which involved us working with The London Fire Brigade and a specialist manufacturer to design and build the new AOV system. This included extensive work which took a few months to complete as it was not a routine repair.
Our contractors, Oakrays - Fire Division, started the work in late 2020 and completed it as quickly as possible with as minimal disruption as possible to the residents living in the building. They also worked hard to ensure all Covid- guidelines were followed. Throughout the project, our Fire Safety Team kept residents informed and updated with the progress of works.
New renewable maintenance contract
On 1 April 2021 we awarded a new contract with the Ecolution Group who will be delivering servicing and reactive maintenance to air source heat pumps, heat recovery units and our solar PV systems. This contract has been awarded from an established framework managed by Procure Public and provides the ability to expand the agreement to new renewable systems as they are installed in our existing properties and as part of our new build programme. Residents with heat pumps and heat recovery units providing the primary heating and hot water functions will be contacted by Ecolution to arrange an appointment to complete your annual service.
Help us stay compliant
Your safety is extremely important to us which is why it is important we maintain safety compliance. We understand this may be uncomfortable for some residents, so we are being flexible where possible. This includes with households where someone is self-isolating and when residents need assistance to provide us access e.g. through a next of kin or support worker. If you feel that you are unable to meet an appointment, then please call us on 0300 373 3000 to let us know.
Please assist us with maintaining the safety of our buildings. This includes keep personal items within your home so they do not create a fire risk for you, your family and neighbours when left in communal areas. Check out our range of health and safety top tips you can use in the Health and Safety advices section of our website.