Housing association spends £20m on fire safety

Housing association spends £20m on fire safety

CLARION HOUSING Group, the country’s largest housing association, revealed that fire safety work was set to cost it £20m for 2018/19.

Inside Housing reported on the report by Clarion that its expected spend on fire safety for the year would be £20m, with the figures coming from a presentation at the Total Housing conference by the company’s project director for fire safety Dan Hollas. This amount includes £12.8m on passive protection including door installations, compartmentation and fire stopping, alongside £4.5m on active fire protection including installing alarm systems.

In more detail, the passive fire protection safety works across Clarion’s portfolio has included replacing 1,400 fire doors, inspecting the compartmentation on 295 blocks, undertaking fire stopping work on 113 blocks, and installing over 1,000 overhead closing devices. In turn, active fire safety work included removing 180 fire alarm systems ‘that were not appropriate for the building type’, and installing 162 fire detection systems.

Other work revealed by Mr Hollas undertaken over the last 12 months include cladding removal from a number of its high rises, with some blocks having aluminium composite material (ACM) removed including the Messenger Court building in Southwark, which despite being under 18m tall and ‘under the threshold’ for removal work underwent work after Clarion made the decision to remediate there.

Another block that Clarion removed ACM cladding from was Gladstone Place in Tower Hamlets, but this development also has timber and high pressure laminate (HPL) cladding, with the company ‘considering whether to remove’ these as well. The company has 24 buildings 10 storeys or higher that have undergone passive fire safety works totalling £6.5m, and 116 between six and nine storeys, with fire safety works on these costing £3m.

As part of the company’s plans for improved fire safety work in future, Mr Hollas told the event that Clarion would be appointing a building safety manager to oversee this in high rises.