Enhancing fire safety

A programme of works to help ensure that bpha’s high rise blocks meet the highest standards of fire safety is underway.

Over the past three years bpha has reviewed fire safety in all our high-rise blocks and identified that the three town centre blocks – Priory Court, Roise Court and Beckett Court, required sprinklers to further enhance fire safety.

Priory and Roise Courts have already had systems fitted and this year a project to install sprinklers in Beckett Court will start and is expected to be completed by April 2018.

There is also a programme in place to replace existing fire doors in Richbell Court, Boswell Court, Chandos Court and Bury Court blocks with new fire door sets.

Fire Risk Assessments are also carried out on every property where there are shared communal areas, and bpha currently has in excess of 500 properties of this type, ranging from high rise blocks (over six floors) to houses that have been converted to flats, sheltered housing, supported living schemes, and a range of Extra Care retirement homes.

Julie Wittich, Director of Service Delivery at bpha, said: “All bpha staff who have a role within housing, including care takers, housing officers and surveyors, receive Fire Safety Training and have a nationally recognised Level 3 Award for reporting Hazards in Residential properties.

“This means that we have a constant overview of conditions within our blocks ensuring that issues can be rectified and reported at the earliest opportunity.

“We recently held a residents’ awareness event at the Greyfriars site in Bedford and more are planned in the future.

Residents are advised to make themselves aware of the evacuation strategy in their building, there are signs in the halls and stairways with information, or you can ask a member of staff.

You can also keep yourself safe by switching off all electrical appliances when you are not using them, not leaving washing machines or tumble driers running while you are out of the property or asleep, disposing of cigarettes carefully, and by making sure your smoke alarm is tested regularly.

Boswell Court in Bedford