Fire, Security and Safety
Recognising that electrical safety for too long has been seen as less important than gas safety within social housing, the Association of Safety and Compliance Professionals (ASCP) has launched its White Paper: Electrical Safety in Social Housing, Transformational Change.
Written following extensive consultation with ASCP and Association of Electrical Safety Managers (AESM) members, the White Paper seeks to highlight the complexity of the work safety and compliance professionals do within electrical safety, to help them be more effective in this work and to support them in challenging the status quo where necessary. It sets out the findings of the AESM Think Tank on electrical safety as well as the common themes identified by ASCP members in discussions, round table events and surveys.
Electrical safety has generally been seen as less important than gas safety despite clear evidence that each year unsafe electrical work causes more injuries, fatalities and devastation to families and communities. The fewer incidents related to gas is largely due to the annual requirement of the landlord gas safety check. Every year, almost half of all accidental house fires in the UK are caused by electrical appliances. Electrical goods were, for example, the source of ignition in the fires at Grenfell, Lakanal House and Shepherd’s Court. The Grenfell tragedy in particular, where 72 people lost their lives in June 2017, remains an emotive and powerful driver for change.
Following a recent government consultation, the regulations for Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms in England are set to expand for both privately and socially rented homes. The amendments will seek to increase resident safety and bring more consistency to regulations between the rental sectors.
The consultation proposed to amend the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and Approved Document J, with the aim of extending the existing private rented legislation to socially rented properties; it also considered the important question of whether the existing legislation was sufficient.
For housing managers, retrofitting new technologies and systems to existing residences is becoming more of a priority as costs come under increasing pressure, and process inefficiencies are tackled. Retrospectively incorporating new technology into older housing stock is an effective solution, bringing immediate benefits to housing managers and tenants without breaking the bank.
Retrofitting is most commonly talked about in relation to decarbonisation. But in addition to environmental considerations, retrofitting new technology can also be beneficial for building security and accessibility. Incorporating new access control technology in existing buildings, for example, can enhance the tenant experience significantly – while also streamlining operations and cutting down any inefficiencies.
With fire safety the dominant issue in housing today, it is always a pleasure to see such refurbishment projects successfully completed. We spoke to Richard Izzard, managing director of aluminium decking manufacturer AliDeck, to discuss their contribution to a recent major fire safety remediation project for Hyde Housing.
When new customers contact us at Colt about setting up their contracts, we frequently get asked a few common questions. If you have just taken over management of a new building and are unsure about where to start with your fire safety systems maintenance schedule, this article may have some of the answers you are looking for.
Accessibility continues to be an important issue for Housing Associations, helping tenants with a wide variety of needs and requirements to carry out everyday tasks and live more independently. There are, however, still significant gaps in building accessibility across the country. According to figures, 91% of all UK homes do not provide even the lowest level of accessibility , requiring urgent action from the housing industry.
Leading hardware distributor, Carl F Groupco, is celebrating 20 years of supplying the market leading fully reversible Roto FRH UNI window hardware in the UK. During the past two decades, the FRH UNI range has become the most successful window product range in Carl F Groupco’s portfolio, owing its success to the functionality provided and the strong reputation of the UNI brand in the UK market.
FRH UNI hardware is designed to suit traditional reversible window profiles, including PVCu, timber, aluminium and timber/aluminium composite windows. It’s a robust hardware system designed for situations where safe control of the window opening is necessary: including high-rise applications where wind and height issues are of concern. Safety features such as integral child restrictors and reverse catches provide ultimate protection.