Fire, Security and Safety
Following the Grenfell tragedy, various building regulation updates and Government initiatives attempted to resolve the flammable cladding issue by outlawing combustible materials and mandating its replacement in existing buildings with non-combustible alternatives.
The External Wall Fire Review/EWS1 process was developed as a solution to this issue via a cross-industry working group consisting of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Building Societies Association (BSA), and UK Finance. Launched in December 2019, this process was intended to provide a framework by which mortgage lenders could be assured that the risk on their loans was suitably mitigated, unblocking the logjam and allowing homeowners to sell their properties.
Hardware and Fire Door systems specialist Winkhaus has invested extensively to ensure their Composite Fire & Security door set solution consistently proves performance and ensures compliance with all the latest requirements.
Winkhaus UKs Technical Director, Chris Flaherty, provides clarity for specifiers following a series of legislation and guidance updates covering the specification of composite fire doors.
Smoking remains one of the leading causes of fires, with hundreds of fires around the country caused by discarded cigarettes each year. In November 2019, The Cube in Bolton was devastated by a fire  now concluded to have been started by a discarded cigarette on a combustible balcony. This is, sadly, a staggeringly common occurrence with a litany of balcony fires caused by smoking materials the length and breadth of the country.
Aluminium decking experts AliDeck are looking to share their knowledge with the launch of a suite of learning materials for prospective clients to find out all they need to know about their options for non-combustible decking.
Launched in 2019 as a standalone brand, AliDeck are part of the Milwood Group of aluminium extrusion specialist companies. Drawing on their decades of experience in manufacturing aluminium outdoor structures, the Milwood Group developed and launched a stylish aluminium decking board in 2015.
On the 2nd April, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP announced ambitious steps, initiated by the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, to further reform the building safety system, with the aim of ensuring that residents are safe in their homes.
Firstly, MHCLG have published their response to the Building a Safer Future Consultation which sets out plans to reform building safety. This includes creating a new, more stringent, national Building Safety Regulator, currently being devised by the Health and Safety Executive, who will be responsible for implementing, enforcing and overseeing safety in all multi-occupied residential buildings over 18m (or 6 storeys). Importantly, the Building Safety Bill will also provide for the ability to amend the scope in the future, if deemed justified.
Access control and door entry is a huge responsibility, and challenge, for local authorities and housing associations UK wide.
Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage. Modern intercom and access control systems, remote management and communication is something that offers local authorities and housing associations features that enable them to reduce costs and cut their carbon footprints by managing multiple sites from one place.
With the age of residents at Hanover Lodge, access was becoming problematic due to the heavy self-closing fire doors. Fireco products were recommended and Freedor SmartSound was found to be the best-suited product.