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Thousands of new doors for tenants and leaseholders as H&F steps up fire safety efforts

Residents across H&F are now better protected after thousands of new external fire doors have been installed in our homes – at no charge to tenants and leaseholders.

As part of our Fire Safety Plus programme we’ve now replaced 3,115 external doors to our tenants’ and leaseholders’ homes. We’ve also upgraded a further 229 communal staircase doors on escape routes.

More blocks will follow in the coming months, including:

  • Batman Close on the White City Estate
  • Riverside Gardens and Lampeter Square in Hammersmith
  • Clem Attlee Estate in North Fulham
  • Cobbs Hall in Fulham Palace Road
  • Barclay Close in Fulham.

The new fire doors are among the highest-rated on the market. There is no better protection available anywhere, as they are designed to resist fire for 60 minutes in tower blocks of six storeys or more, and for 30 minutes in tower blocks with five storeys or less.

“The safety and wellbeing of our residents is our number one priority”, said Cllr Lisa Homan, H&F Cabinet Member for Housing.

“The new fire doors are just part of our efforts to protect tenants and leaseholders. We’ve put aside more than £20million for the Fire Safety Plus programme, and an additional £1m a week for the next 12 years to ensure our homes are safe, decent and secure.”

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Image caption: Image 1: Long time H&F resident Irma Reid

Pleased with results

Irma Reid, 77, has been living in Shepherds Bush for more than 28 years and is pleased about the latest fire safety upgrades.

“It’s good for everyone”, she said. “We’re still talking about Grenfell - it hit very close to home. The memory serves as a reminder of how important things like fire doors and sprinklers are. The new fire door came with an extra chain on it – so it really makes me feel a lot safer - in more than one way.”

Meanwhile, Evaldas Michalauskas, 49, who moved to the Edward Woods Estate in 2015, says the installation went smoothly.

“I’ve had no problems at all. I had the new sprinklers installed in my flat last year – with no unnecessary noise. The contractors made sure to clean after themselves and the sprinklers are practically invisible. I’m happy with the result!”

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Image caption: Image 2: Evaldas Michalauskas standing-by his new fire door.

Fire Safety Plus

To make sure our tenants’ and leaseholders’ homes are safe across the borough, the Fire Safety Plus programme includes:

  • Safety checks at every council high-rise home to check fire safety arrangements, including the standard smoke alarm and gas safety checks
  • Sprinklers in tower blocks where sprinklers would help improve safety
  • Free replacement appliances for appliances (such as washing machines, fridges, tumble dryers) that fail a ‘Portable Appliance Testing’ (PAT) safety check
  • Free smoke and heat detectors and free checks for existing ones to make sure they’re working properly
  • Return of concierge staff at Edward Woods and Charecroft estates in Shepherds Bush, and others where concierge staff have been removed in the past
  • Additional fire assessments performed by independent experts reviewing fire safety in all communal blocks, including the outside of the buildings – such as cladding and external panels
  • A dedicated fire and building safety residents’ group to listen to residents and act on their concerns. The advisory group works closely with the council on all aspects of fire and building safety and compliance, including work to deliver the Fire Safety Plus programme.

The programme was launched in 2017 to ensure our homes meet the legal requirements as well as the high standards we set for ourselves following the Grenfell Tower fire.

After the tragic blaze, we supported more than 50 families through temporary accommodation, practical help in the form of hot meal food vouchers and Travelcards, as well as weekly visits from our housing and social care teams to ensure everyone affected by the fire received the support they needed.

Residents were encouraged to ask questions and raise concerns to have their say in shaping our new and improved fire safety programme.

Sprinklers installed

To further help improve safety, the works also include a sprinkler installation programme which is due to be completed by the end of May.

The new sprinklers are currently being rolled out at:

  • Poynter House, Norland House and Stebbing House on the Edward Woods Estate, W11
  • Drake Court and Shackelton Court on the William Church Estate, W12.

In addition, we’ve created a dedicated show flat at 119 Stebbing House so residents in Shepherds Bush can speak to our team and see what the new, discreet sprinklers will look like in their homes.

Watch our sprinkler installation team at work – this video has no audio description.

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