The safety of your home should never be a cause for concern. You deserve access to all the amenities and services that best suit you and your lifestyle needs. Committed to providing well-managed properties at all times, safety is at the heart of everything we do and we are proud to have been awarded 5 stars, by the Safety Council, for our efforts in health and safety management. We want to protect all that you love.
We ensure that your home is safe by regularly checking anything that can cause harm in communal areas. In addition, we maintain protective equipment such as emergency lighting, smoke ventilation and fire detection. We also help you understand what you can do to stay safe.
Our employees are highly-trained to know exactly what to be alert to when it comes to keeping you and your property secure. Meanwhile, our contractors fully recognise our commitment to health and safety. They collaborate with us to ensure that any work carried out is done so safely, to protect everyone involved.
If you are the first to identify something wrong with your property, let us know. A failed emergency light, broken fire door, cracked paving slab, faulty lift or combustible material left in corridors can be dangerous. Work with us to protect your community.
1 ‘Self-closing’, fire-rated front doors help to stop the spread of fire and smoke
2 Fully-functioning smoke alarms save lives by acting as an early warning, allowing extra time for escape
3 Know the evacuation plan and ask your property manager what to do in the case of an emergency
4 Items in corridors or staircases block escape and hinder firefighters whilst feeding the fire
5 Most fires in residential blocks start due to unattended ovens and hobs, as well as cigarette smoking
Adequate fire safety in purpose-built flats and tower blocks is central to the protection of residents and their homes. To help you stay abreast of the principles involved, here is a simple guide on both the design and fire risk principles.
Buildings are designed with a high degree of compartmentation between each flat and between the flats and communal areas. Compartmentation restricts smoke and fire to the flat of origin for a specified amount of time.
Statistically, there is a low probability of fire spreading beyond the flat where it broke out.
Very few fires start in communal areas and escape routes
Residents in the flat where the fire broke out should evacuate and call the fire brigade. Meanwhile the building’s occupants are safe to remain in their flats, unless directed to leave.
In most blocks there are no fire alarms in communal areas. In most Retirement living blocks there will be. Communal alarms sound when there is smoke in the communal area and are not usually audible in flats. The purpose is to alert people who are in communal areas to evacuate the block.
There is no requirement for fire extinguishers in communal areas, except for plant and service rooms.
Residents should familiarise themselves with their building’s emergency procedures
Early warning of fires saves lives. Residents should ensure they have working detectors in their flats
Keeping compartmentation intact in flats keeps the risk of smoke and fire spread low. Removing or changing doors and making holes in walls and ceilings in flats can speed up smoke and fire spread
At FirstPort we always place health and safety as our number one priority. Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in 2017, a new focus has been placed on fire safety in residential blocks of flats and communities where people live in shared accommodation. As a result, a recent independent review has been undertaken by Dame Judith Hackitt, a former chair of the UK Health and Safety Executive.
The findings of this review have now been published in a guidance report titled “Building a Safer Future”, which sets out new guidance standards for the property industry. Whilst the report focuses initially on high-rise accommodation of ten floors and above, an emphasis is also placed on other communal living accommodation, such as specialised housing.
The review encourages us to consider the ‘whole building’, rather than just the communal areas such as hallways, stairwells and communal living spaces. This includes helping residents understand their role, to make sure that we’re working together to make our developments a safer environment for everyone.
You will be reassured to know FirstPort is experienced in this approach and you will have already seen your Development Manager carrying out regular health and safety checks in your development. Items regularly checked include each flat’s front door, smoke detectors and making sure all pull-cords are working properly.
Residents have an important role to play in health and safety. Simple steps include checking that electrical items in your home are safe for use, careful cooking practices, keeping loft spaces clear and making sure your front door’s overhead closer works properly. These may seem relatively simple, but together they can play a big part in the overall fire safety of a building. Alongside the Development Manager’s regular checks around the development, you can help keep your development safe by making sure your own home is as safe as possible.
We are committed to building close working relationships with local Fire Officers. We encourage local Fire Officers to visit developments and host talks at coffee mornings on fire safety in the home. They also make visits to advise Development Managers on matters of fire safety and carry out building checks to ensure fire safety standards are being maintained.
We aim to always inform and educate our residents on fire safety. In the coming months, you will have the opportunity to discuss your development’s overall fire strategy, understand what to do in an emergency situation, provide feedback on current fire safety initiatives and suggest future initiatives for your development.
Your Development Manager will inform you about this in the near future.