Fire safety

Fire safety steps we take

Audits and Inspections – Wandle has a number of inspection and audit programmes which are designed to promptly identify and address fire hazards. These include estate inspections and audits completed by the Health and Safety team. 

Fire Risk Assessments (FRA’s) – A fire risk assessment is a method of identifying fire hazards so that appropriate measures can be taken to reduce the risk of them starting. We undertake these for all relevant properties and review these assessments on a periodic basis, depending on their individual risk level.

Asset Servicing & Repairs – Wandle will ensure the servicing and maintenance of all fire safety assets is undertaken by a competent contractor and in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Properties not managed by Wandle

Homes not managed by Wandle

If you live in a property that is owned by Wandle, but managed by an agent or another organisation, then they will be responsible for fire safety in that property. Wandle will however assist the agent to enable it to fulfil its fire safety duties. Agency managed properties will also be included in our routine health and safety inspections.

If you live in a Wandle property where we are not the main landlord, and therefore do not have control of the communal parts of the building, we will refer any fire safety concerns you have to the relevant agent or organisation and take further action  in the even these concerns are not addressed.

Wandle’s Fire Safety Guide

You can download Wandle's guide about fire safety here.

Free home safety check and smoke alarms

Your local fire service provides free home safety checks and in many cases this may include fitting a free smoke alarm. Fire Officers will also advise you about making your home safer.

To get a free safety visit from your local fire service, contact the London Fire Brigade on:

Impact of Grenfell Tower Fire

Due to its significance, our Fire Safety Policy will be reviewed once the findings of the investigation into the tragic Grenfell Tower fire are published. All recommendations from this investigation will be carefully considered by Wandle and its Board.

Fire safety

All registered housing providers are required to have policies in place to ensure that they minimise the risk of fire in their properties. Wandle is no different and this page provides a brief summary of our Fire Safety Policy and what it means for you.

Why we have a Fire Safety Policy

Our Fire Safety Policy helps Wandle ensure that we have adequate and appropriate fire safety measures in place to minimise the risk of injury or loss of life in the event of a fire.

As a responsible employer and landlord we have a duty of care to ensure that our buildings and facilities can be used safely and that we take all reasonable steps to mitigate any risks associated with fire in our properties.

Our fire safety policy applies to our offices and all our properties with communal areas, but does not cover self-contained, domestic properties which do not have any communal areas. 

 

Responsibilities

Wandle is responsible for ensuring that all staff, customers and contractors can work and live in a safe way in our offices and homes. We therefore place specific duties upon our staff and our customers, to ensure fire safety. 

Our responsibilities

All Wandle employees have a duty of care to themselves, their colleagues, residents and members of the public. If Wandle staff notice any situation that represents a serious fire risk, they are required to report this to their manager as soon as possible. 
Wandle staff must all familiarise themselves with our fire safety policy, attend training when required and use safe systems to prevent fire safety risks.

How  you can help

As a Wandle Resident there are also certain duties placed upon you to ensure your safety and so that we can carry-out our relevant procedures to ensure fire safety within our residential buildings. 
 
Your responsibilities include:
  • Giving Wandle staff and contractors access so that they can carry-out fire related maintenance and undertake fire risk assessments
  • Looking after doors and windows on escape routes so they can be easily and quickly opened in case of a fire. This includes keeping doors closed (unless they are doors designed to be held open on magnetic devices) and not wedging them open.
  • Not changing your flat’s front door, as this acts as a key line of defence in preventing the spread of fire
  • Not smoking in communal areas and generally taking care when smoking
  • Keeping escape routes and communal areas clear by not storing belongings in communal areas and in particular keeping stairwells free of obstacles. This will ensure people can get out of the building quickly.
  • Familiarise yourself with the escape plan for your building. If you are not sure of this please contact us. 

 

Apartment blocks and buildings - information requested by lenders

Recent Government advice on fire and building safety has prompted mortgage lenders to revise the level of detailed information requested on the construction of external walls/facades and balconies. This requirement was previously for buildings of 18 meters (six storeys) but has been expanded by some to include properties with even fewer storeys.

 

Information now requested

When considering mortgage applications lenders are now asking for an External Wall System (EWS1) report for all buildings of 18 metres and above to confirm the exact materials used. This information must be provided by a suitably qualified independent professional advisor as outlined by the Government.

The safety and well-being of our residents is of the utmost importance and we are fully supportive of the new guidelines.

While we are committed to providing all information currently available, please be aware that there may be times when the information we do have is not enough to satisfy lenders’ queries and that we may need to carry out additional investigations and surveys to get information that meets the new standards. This may take some time, especially due to demand for professional services throughout the UK as those responsible for the many building that fall under the new guidelines look to secure the documentation to meet the new guidelines.

 

How does it affect you?

If you are thinking of selling your property, staircasing or re-mortgaging, we strongly urge you to contact us at the earliest opportunity and certainly before making any financial commitment so that we can advise and begin the necessary groundwork. Wandle will only be able to work towards obtaining the EWS1 information for buildings where we are the freeholder.

If we are not your freeholder then you should contact your managing agent who will be able to confirm what steps are being taken to provide this information for your building.

Once we have the results of the inspections and tests we will update residents with block specific advice based on the findings.

If you have any queries please contact your leasehold team.

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