Given the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in London the thoughts of everyone at JJH are with the families and community affected by this terrible tragedy.
Although JJH has no high rise properties, it does own a number of apartments and sheltered schemes with shared communal areas. We work very closely with the Fire Services within our areas of operation with regards to our obligations in relation to managing and maintaining Fire Safety in our homes.
Furthermore, the focus on fire risk across the country highlights the issue of ensuring Fire Risk Assessments (FRA’s) are up to date and in place. In 2015 we conducted a full programme of FRAs in line with the three yearly cycle.
That being said we cannot assume everything is as it was when the FRAs were completed. We have weekly fire safety checks on all our sheltered schemes and remind all our staff of the importance of completing these checks as planned.
The majority of the Johnnie Johnson apartments and sheltered schemes have a stay put policy in place. Before we implement such a policy we ensure that our buildings are safe for our residents to stay put in. This means we ensure that smoke and fire cannot travel between flats.
Stay put policies in our flats operate like this:
- When a fire occurs within a flat, the occupants alert others in the flat and then make their way out of the building
- If the building has a fire alarm system, and this is monitored by someone like Astraline, they will call the Fire and Rescue Service
- If a fire starts in the common parts such as a stairwell or corridor, anyone in these areas makes their way out of the building
- All other residents not directly affected by the fire would be expected to stay put and remain in their flat unless directed to leave by the Fire and Rescue Service
It is important to note that the Johnnie Johnson Housing would never prevent anyone from leaving their flat if they wished to do so, but by leaving your flat when you don’t know where the fire is could put you and others in danger.
In addition, not all residents are physically or mentally able to evacuate themselves therefore we make sure our buildings are safe for them to stay in their flats.
Irrespective of the Johnnie Johnson policy for its buildings, whether it has a stay put policy or an evacuation policy, all of our buildings are subject to regular fire risk assessments by an external fire consultant where these are required. All areas and fire protection measures are assessed to meet our high standards and ensure the buildings are safe.
Our staff and contractors carry out regular checks to ensure our fire alarm systems, emergency lighting, fire doors and means of escape are safe and maintained to a high standard.
If you have any concerns whatsoever regarding the fire safety of the building in which they live, please contact our Customer Service Hub on 0345 305 5335, ask a question via this message area or your local community fire safety officer.