Fire safety - Frequently asked questions

Has BHP checked all its high rise blocks for fire safety?

A: Brent Housing Partnership (BHP) would like to reassure all our residents that fire safety is a number one priority. All high rises blocks have a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) completed every year. Every high-rise block was checked in March-May 2017.

Have other blocks been checked as well?

Yes any block/property that has a shared common area has a regular Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) completed in line with the fire orders and local government guidance documents. These properties include all high, medium and low rise blocks and converted street properties where there is a shared entrance. For properties that are not high-rise, the FRA is completed every two years.

What happens after the Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) is completed?

The FRA assesses the risk of fire and recommends actions for the landlord to take to reduce the risk. BHP manages a programme of works identified in the FRAs to make sure the works are completed in line with the recommended timelines from the FRA.

What has BHP done in response to the Grenfell Tower incident?

All high rise blocks are checked monthly by the Estate Inspectors. Following the Grenfell Tower fire all high rise blocks were visited by our Estate Inspectors to identify and report any further actions required that may have occurred since the FRA was completed. All further actions identified are being managed through our remedial works programme. Please anticipate notifications to be sent if your particular property needs a repair, e.g. front door requires repairing or replacing.


We have continued to work and liaise closely with the London Fire Brigade on any updates to guidelines on evacuating buildings.


We have set up a dedicated Fire Safety phone number 020 8937 2486 and a dedicated email box firesafety@bhphousing.co.uk so that residents can contact us with any inquiry or concern about fire safety.

What else is BHP doing to minimise fire risk?

We carry out regular fire safety checks and this is ongoing. Further support and resources have been implemented to continue to complete works identified as required within the fire risk assessments.

 

We have met residents at local meetings to discuss fire safety and we are arranging drop-in sessions for high-rise residents. You will receive more information in your area about these drop-ins.

What do residents do in the event of a fire?

Please check your local signage for fire safety advice in relation to your specific block and familiarise yourself with safety advice from the London Fire Brigade (LFB) website

 

Please do not use the lifts in the event of a fire.

Who is responsible for electrical appliances inside my home?

It is residents’ responsibility to ensure that portable appliance testing (PAT) is carried out and that appliances are gas safe.

What can I do as a resident to help maintain a safe environment where I live?

  • Within your property: Check to make sure that all electrical items are turned off and unplugged when not in use. Do not leave appliances used for cooking unattended at any time. Replace any items that expose live wires or faulty when in use. Check your fire detection alarms.
  • Within your block: Be vigilant to fire risk. If you think something will be a fire risk, remove it. Ensure that all communal areas including escape routes and fire exits are kept clear at all times. If you identify a broken fire door or other issue that may be a fire hazard, report it to the fire safety team immediately.
  • On your estate: Always park considerately so that your vehicle does not obstruct access for fire engines. Take notice of any yellow lines and signs advising you of emergency access, so that emergency service vehicles can reach the building quickly if needed. And remind your visitors too.
  • Evacuation plan: think about how you would get out if there is a fire in your home. If you cannot get out unaided or would have difficulty with stairs, let us know so we can send you more information on Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans. For more information contact firesafety@bhphousing.co.uk

Is it safe to leave items such as buggies and bicycles in the communal area?

No, you cannot leave any items in the communal areas. These following areas are to be kept clear at all times to allow for safe evacuation and so that the fire brigade have clear access if needed:

  • Corridors
  • Stairwells
  • Escape routes
  • Fire exit doors

What will happen to items left in communal areas?

To ensure communal areas are kept safe and to reduce the risk of fire, any items left in communal areas will be removed without notice.

Will you be putting sprinklers in blocks that don’t have them?

The Government has announced a full public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire to get a full understanding of went so wrong and how similar tragedies can be prevented in the future. However, we are not just going to wait for this review to conclude before we do anything. Councillors have earmarked £10million for a programme of enhanced fire safety measures in high rise blocks including sprinklers. Now that this funding has been agreed, officers have started the detailed work to draft a report outlining the full programme and schedule of works which will be discussed in the autumn. Once the public inquiry findings are known we will review and, if needed, amend our fire management process and strategy accordingly.

Will you be installing emergency lighting on our estates?

Yes - where additional lighting is recommended in the Fire Risk Assessment for your block, the lighting will be installed within the timescale recommended.

My high rise block has cladding, is it safe?

None of the BHP high rise blocks have any cladding installed. Only the blocks in Watling Gardens has External Wall Insulation (EWI) as part of the Rockwool System which is a non-combustible mineral wool material that would not promote the spread of flames externally and is in compliance with current British standards. The EWI used at Watling Gardens is completely different to the cladding used at Grenfell Tower. As it is mechanically fixed to the wall of the building and is encapsulated with two coats of cement based product which is incombustible.

I live in a high-rise block, where can I find out more about fire safety?

BHP are arranging drop-in sessions for high-rise residents. You will receive more information in your area about these drop-ins.

How can I report a fire safety problem in my block?

Email firesafety@bhphousing.co.uk or phone 020 8937 2486.