Chichester flats have ‘potential issues’ with compartmentation

Chichester flats have ‘potential issues’ with compartmentation

GRAINGER HOUSE in the town, operated by Hyde Housing, has seen concerns raised about fire risks after ‘potential issues’ with compartmentation were identified.

Chichester.co.uk reported on the discovery of compartmentation issues at the block, with Hyde Housing having installed a round the clock fire marshal patrol, as well as changing the evacuation strategy from stay put to simultaneous evacuation. This came after a ‘detailed, intrusive’ fire risk assessment was undertaken, with the waking watch having been installed there since 23 October as a consequence.

Hyde Housing stated that it was ‘still awaiting’ the full assessment report, and a spokesman added that its results would give a ‘better understanding of any work that may need to be carried out’. Residents had reported to local councillor Sarah Sharp that they’d been able to hear noise and smell smoke ‘transferring between floors’, with one resident stating that they had been ‘suffering from noise problems at the building for some time’.

This particular resident, who wished to remain anonymous, added that he could hear a ‘continual thumping and banging’ from the flat above, which had been bad enough to force him ‘to spend the night elsewhere in order to be able to sleep’. These noise concerns led to fears about no soundproofing and thus ‘the risk of fire spreading’, with the resident adding of the ‘potentially serious situation’ that it was ‘kind of reassuring’ the waking watch had been installed.

However, he noted that Hyde Housing ‘should have put it there an awful long time ago’, with the company noting that the compartmentation issues had been identified after advice from fire sasfety experts. Ms Sharp added: ‘Our residents’ safety must come first and foremost. Residents need absolute assurance that the build quality of this development is thoroughly investigated so that residents’ concerns can be quickly put to rest.’

Liz Oliver, Hyde Housing’s interim director of compliance, commented: ‘We continue to work with our residents at Grainger House, as well as key stakeholders including the local councillor. The safety of our residents and buildings is paramount and Hyde is determined not to take any risks.’