Posted on 08 January 2019
Speaking at Homes 2018 last November, Director of Asset Management, Brent O’Halloran outlined how we are one of the first housing associations to trial and adopt recommendations from the Hackitt review following the tragic Grenfell fire.
He explained how, in the wake of Grenfell, we were quick to set up a dedicated fire safety taskforce with our Chief Executive, Elaine Bailey as project sponsor. In order to confirm the fire strategy for residents in each of our high-rise blocks, we developed a structured regime of invasive fire safety inspections, and embarked on a programme of extensive remediation works including compartmentation repairs and cladding replacement (for 9 blocks so far). Furthermore, we have developed our own landlord’s fire safety record, which works like an MOT style checklist to review the safety of our buildings.
Asked what recommendations we are currently employing, Brent explained that we have accepted Hackitt’s recommendation to think of a building as a system, and have adopted the layers of protection approach to reducing risk. Recognising the responsibility of the Hyde Group as the designated duty holder where we are the freeholder for a scheme, we also publish bespoke building safety information on our website for residents in our high risk residential buildings and provide Fire Risk Assessment reports on request.
A key part of our strategy has been to consult with our residents on the development of our landlord’s fire safety record, and the building safety information for our high risk residential buildings. Our resident-led inspection committee, Hydewide Residents Eye looked at our fire safety programme in 2018 which included shadowing contractors as they carried out inspections of tall blocks, talking to residents about their experience and getting feedback via online surveys. Our senior level residents’ group Customer Voice have been consulted about the findings of the Hackitt report, and have made recommendations about the management of communal areas with the focus on resident safety.