Council update on actions to further raise safety standards at the Chalcots
As part of Camden Council’s ongoing work to deliver the highest safety standards throughout the Chalcots Estate, further fire safety assessments have been taking place this week.
Using the standards advised by the London Fire Brigade for fire risk assessment, Camden Council appointed a private company, called Frankham Risk Management Services, to carry out enhanced fire risk assessments.
Residents have today been written to, updating them that Frankham have been on site all week, not only inspecting the communal areas, but also reviewing a number of residents’ flats, including assessing the window frames.
The letter from Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council, and Pat Callaghan, Cabinet member for Housing and Deputy Leader, tells that “these inspections go above and beyond usual fire safety inspections, and we have asked for them to be done because we want you to be assured about the safety of your home.”
Residents are reminded that the council carried out the works that the London Fire Brigade said needed to be done in communal areas in order to ensure they could return to their home, but that there is an ongoing programme of improvements works to deliver even higher standards within the building, including their flats.
This programme includes the Frankham checks and any additional works that are identified by the inspections will be acted upon and included in the ongoing programme, which includes fitting new flat entrance doors and the removal of the existing cladding.
Residents are also given details of upcoming drop-in sessions and ways of contacting the council, should they have questions about the ongoing works.
The full letter reads as follows:
Friday 11 August 2017
Update on continuing fire safety works in your block
We carried out the works that the London Fire Brigade said needed to be done in communal areas in order to ensure you could return to your home. The London Fire Brigade last week returned to the estate and confirmed the works done are of an acceptable standard.
We want to assure you that checks and works in the buildings are continuing and that we will not be finished until we have the highest safety standards throughout, including inside your flat.
Using the standards advised by the London Fire Brigade for fire risk assessment, we have hired a private company called Frankham Risk Management Services, who are also accredited by the BAFE (British Approvals for Fire Equipment), which independently acknowledges their competency to provide fire protection services.
Frankham have been on site all week, carrying out enhanced fire risk assessments, not only inspecting the communal areas, but also reviewing a number of residents’ flats, including assessing the window frames.
Any additional works that are identified by Frankham’s inspections will be acted upon and included in our ongoing programme of improvement works, which includes fitting new flat entrance doors and the removal of the existing cladding.
As with previous fire risk assessments, we will make sure that the Frankham reports are openly available for you to view on our website.
These inspections go above and beyond usual fire safety inspections, and we have asked for them to be done because we want you to be assured about the safety of your home.
That’s why we have also carried out Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) of white goods and fitted fire blankets in every flat, and why fire wardens remain on site.
We want to remind you that we are recruiting a Director of Resident Safety and that we will undertake an independent review into the circumstances that required the evacuation of the blocks. We will work side by side with you to carry out that review. We, like you, want to ensure that the Council and national building and fire regulations are appropriately scrutinised regarding how this happened, and how we ensure it never happens again.
Resident drop-in sessions
The safety of residents is our top priority and we know some residents have questions about the works that have been undertaken or are due to take place, including the replacement of the outer cladding panels.
The Council will be running drop-in information sessions for Chalcots residents to address any concerns and answer your questions. The first drop-in session will take place on Wednesday 16 August from 10am to 12pm outside Bray block.
We will also have staff available at our annual summer resident event to be held on Wednesday 23 August from 1pm to 5pm at The Open Space on Winchester Road in Swiss Cottage. The London Fire Brigade will be at the event to speak to you about how you can improve fire safety in your home, and there will be a range of events and activities for everyone – we hope that you are able to join us.
New fire door installation
The drop-in session is a good opportunity for you to find out more about the new doors and ask any questions.
We hope to begin installing these new doors in blocks in early September. We will be contacting you to make an appointment to replace your door in the next few weeks, we aim to minimise disruption and arrange a time that is suitable for you.
We will continue to provide you with regular updates about the work going on now and in the future, in and around your building.
In the meantime, if you have any issues or concerns about the work that has been done in your building, to your front door, or in your flat please report this to our Chalcots Estate team on 0207 974 4444 (extension 7). This team can contact our contractors on site and get someone to look at your issue as quickly as possible.
Georgia Gould Leader of Camden Council
Pat Callaghan Cabinet Member for Housing and Deputy Leader