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Fire safety - our policies and procedures to keep you safe

The safety of our residents is our highest priority and we continue to work in partnership with the Fire Service and independent fire safety experts to ensure we keep our residents safe.

 

Message from our Group Chief Executive

 

Residents are encouraged to read the London Fire Brigade Home Fire Safety Guide which gives excellent hints and tips on staying safe.

Each Hyde building has its own fire safety policy which will be clearly displayed in the communal areas. Residents are advised to familiarise themselves with the policy for their particular building and to follow the directions given.

The information below provides some more detail about the fire safety measures we have adopted.

Stay put policy

The principle of a stay put policy remains, and is based on the fire safety design standards in use from the 1960s and earlier, and reflects the preferred approach of the fire and rescue service in purpose built blocks. The basis of the principle is as follows.

  • In the event of a fire within an individual flat, that flat's automatic detection should alert the occupants who would then be expected to ensure that they and others in that flat make their way out of the building using the common escape routes and then summon the fire and rescue service.
  • If the fire were to start within any of the common areas, any occupants of these areas who become aware of the fire would be expected to make their way out of the building using the common escape routes, and then summon the fire and rescue service.

  • Other residents not directly affected by a fire in either of these scenarios would be expected to wait (stay put) and remain in their flat unless directed to leave by the fire and rescue service. This is also known as a delayed evacuation strategy.

The London Fire Brigade website has more information on the stay put policy, and if you live in a high rise you can also download a free copy of the Hampshire Fire and Rescue leaflet which gives more useful safety tips.

Fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are not required in the common areas of blocks of flats and the guidance provided on the subject states it would be “generally undesirable to provide them”. There are a number of reasons why this guidance exists. Primarily the idea that a resident may leave their flat to get an extinguisher and then return to fight a fire without relevant training may place them at greater risk than if they simply left the building.

Residents are reminded if a fire occurs inside your flat, you should safely evacuate the building via the nearest exit. Do not attempt to tackle the fire.

Extinguishers would only be present on schemes where trained staff are on site.

If extinguishers were identified by our fire risk assessment organisation, they would have recommended their removal which we are obliged to carry out.

Fire alarms

Fire alarms are serviced regularly by trained, competent specialists. If not working, please notify us and we will have engineers attend as soon as possible.

Fire doors and smoke alarms

We have now completed detailed safety inspections and any issues regarding fire doors and smoke alarms are being prioritised.

Cladding

We are in the process of carrying out additional, detailed safety inspections on all blocks over 6 storeys. We have removed cladding in some blocks and sent it for testing. In these blocks we have introduced 24/7 safety warden patrols as an added safety precaution. For the latest information on this please see our general statement.

Sprinkler systems

Unless a premises is over 30m in height and newly built, sprinklers are not required in purpose built blocks of flats. As part of the response to the current investigation post Grenfell Tower, we are looking at the feasibility of installing these retrospectively in some high priority premises. Find out more about actions we are taking in response to the terrible fire at  Grenfell Tower.

Gosport Towers

We are continuing with tests on our five high rise blocks in Gosport and visiting all individual homes. We have introduced additional safety measures during this time to reassure residents. This includes introducing 24/7 safety wardens in each block, who act as an early warning system and patrol the area to ensure all communal areas and entrances are free from obstruction. We are following advice from the local fire brigade and have also requested residents do not park in spaces directly under the towers for the time being. Alternative parking has been sourced close by for our residents to use temporarily.

 

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