Fire, Security and Safety
After months of speculation, new testing and meetings between industry and MHCLG, leading social housing fenestration partner Nationwide Windows Ltd is delighted to be one of the first suppliers back to the market with their next generation, GRP fire door solution.
John Whalley, MD of Nationwide comments: “It has been a difficult time for many involved in the fire door supply chain, not least because the country has witnessed what can happen when things go wrong. So, it has taken time, clever product design and testing at levels never previously seen to get us to a position where we can announce that, in partnership with FDS (Fire Door Systems), we are introducing the next generation Nationwide GRP fire door.
The new Building (Amendment) Regulations in December 2018 require stricter fire safety compliance for new, refurbished and converted residential buildings with a floor above 18 metres from the ground. Architects and developers have been adjusting to those changes, but the recent Barking balcony fires have prompted a new government publication, Advice Note on Balconies in Residential Buildings, which will have a wider impact. It applies to all existing residential buildings with multiple dwellings, irrespective of their height.
Compartmentation is a way to keep a fire contained in one place, preventing fire and smoke from spreading quickly and taking over the building. By creating these fire-resistant compartments, fire can be suppressed for around 30 minutes (time can vary depending on the building structure).
There are different elements to creating a fire safe compartment and there are many things that can reduce the effectiveness.
Hyde has recently launched an innovative fire safety framework which ensures that resident fire safety is at the heart of fire safety measures undertaken by Hyde and other users. Its ethos is accountability, competence and traceability, reflecting terms that have appeared throughout the ‘Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: Final Report’ by Dame Judith Hackitt and Government publication: ‘Building A Safer Future: An Implementation Plan.’
How one housing association has led the way with the installation of a state-of-the-art sprinkler system
Housing associations across the country are reviewing fire safety equipment and procedures post Grenfell, yet installation of new fire safety measures is not without its difficulties in high rise flats.
Minimising disruption, creating something that looks aesthetically pleasing and communicating with a diverse range of tenants all have their challenges.
One housing association in Cornwall has taken action and retrofitted a sprinkler system into the county’s only high rise block of flats, Park House. Built in the late 1960s, the 36-metre high building in St Austell is owned by Ocean Housing, and comprises 67 flats across 12 floors.
Ralph Garth, head of health and safety for Ocean Housing explains how the organisation went about a £300,000 sprinkler re-fit. He said, “Following the Grenfell enquiry and subsequent Hackitt review, it was established that Ocean Housing manages its properties well, with no significant improvements required.
Fire and safety are a constant worry for landlords and tenants, but there are some changes you could be implementing to reduce the risk of these hazards. Here, David Boultbee, Technical Consultant at Ultra LEDs tells us why LED lighting is a much safer option than other lighting solutions.
Lighting is important for any building. It improves visibility and increases home security. But some light bulbs aren’t as safe as you might think. And, with faulty wiring and electrical outlets being such a dangerous risk for homeowners and landlords, you’ll need to make sure that your lighting is as safe as possible to reduce the risk of fires and harm to occupiers. Below, I’ll be outlining just some of the ways that LEDs are a safer lighting alternative to traditional forms of lighting.