Fire safety standard

The safety of our residents, staff and contractors is at the heart of all we do. We are committed to ensuring that arrangements to prevent fires and to protect residents in their homes are delivered consistently to this standard, while meeting all regulation as an absolute minimum and best practice where appropriate.

This is our standard:

1.    We have a dedicated fire safety team who work consistently across the whole business.

2.    We maintain a legally recognised partnership with one Fire and Rescue Service, known as the Primary Authority Scheme. This ensures that we can obtain and apply consistent assurance and advice across all our homes on fire safety matters.

3.    We only employ competent third party accredited contractors and assessors to complete work and to provide advice on fire safety requirements. Our in-house teams are skilled and trained to undertake the works they perform. We check all accreditation before any work commences. Third party certificated SP205 registered providers help us meet our fire risk assessment responsibilities and have been audited by a UKAS accredited certification body to ensure their competence.

4.    We have robust arrangements in place, embedded in working procedure documents, to make sure that the correct fire prevention measures are designed into all new schemes at pre construction stage, are checked thoroughly during the build and are confirmed to meet current standards before practical completion. Scheme handover arrangements include a detailed check of all fire prevention and protection measures against the Fire Safety Strategy created by the designer.

5.    Our Development team commissions a pre-occupation fire report before practical completion on all new build and refurbished blocks with communal areas. We ensure that all recommended actions are completed and signed off before we take handover of the building.

6.    We complete an annual Type 3 Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) in all buildings with common areas. A Type 3 assessment seeks to inspect a number of individual flats within the block (up to 10%) as well as the common areas. When recommended by the assessor, more invasive FRAs are completed and all findings are implemented.

7.    We carry out an initial FRA on all new blocks with common parts within 28 days of the first resident moving in.

8.    All recommended actions arising from FRAs are prioritised as intolerable, high, medium or low. Our timeframes for assessing and completing the work are as follows:

  • Intolerable risks. The Assessor will phone these through to our fire team and they will be dealt with immediately. Intolerable risks occur rarely.
  • All high risk actions are completed within seven working days. These are actions considered by the assessor as being urgent.
  • All medium risk actions are assessed/scoped out within one month and are completed within six months of receipt.
  • All low risk actions are assessed/scoped out within one month and are completed within 12 months of receipt.
  • We may accelerate the target completion times for a particular property, in discussion with the Fire Risk Assessor, on the rare occasion when a high number of actions increases the overall risk in a scheme.

9.    We regularly visit every scheme with a common area to check out and resolve any fire risks and to test any fire equipment. The frequency of the visits will determined by the type of equipment installed. Our standards are:

  • Equipment-frequency of service/test
  • Fire Detection and Fire Alarms-six monthly
  • Domestic alarms-monthly
  • Emergency escape lighting-monthly
  • Dry risers-annual pressure test
  • Six monthly-visual check
  • Smoke controls systems-weekly actuation of system
  • Annual inspection and test
  • Sprinkler systems-annual inspection and test
  • Fire dampers-two yearly inspection and test
  • Fire doors (in common areas)-  monthly inspection of communal doors
  • Fire doors (domestic in common areas)-  regular inspection.

10.    We test domestic smoke alarms in flats and houses annually. The tests are completed as part of the annual service in properties with gas. We endeavour to test alarms in other homes when visiting residents. We encourage residents to check their own alarms on a regular basis. Any damaged or missing alarms are replaced as urgent repairs.

11.    We build a culture of fire prevention and awareness in our teams. Fire Management is everyone’s responsibility and we expect staff to act on anything they see, there and then.

12.    We ensure staff and others working on behalf of LiveWest are suitably trained. Fire awareness training will be completed by all staff on induction and through annual refreshers.

13.    We manage and review all fires and false alarm frequency to seek the reasons why they have happened and to prevent any reoccurrence.

14.    We aim to provide value for money in delivering fire safety and will have consistent arrangements in place to ensure that relevant costs are service charged to residents.

15.    We engage fully with residents in the safety of their homes. We:

  • provide fire safety advice when residents move in
  • listen and take action where necessary on any concerns raised. Any complaints or concerns about health and safety are escalated immediately and reported separately
  • ensure they are aware of the actions to take if a fire occurs or an alarm is activated
  • deliver targeted campaigns via social media
  • provide information on FRA outcomes to residents within a month of receiving the FRA
  • promote Home Fire Safety Visits. Our aim is to complete a home fire safety visit for all people at high risk of fire, such as hoarders
  • take firm, clear action where we are unable to gain access to complete essential work
  • ensure leaseholders fulfil the conditions of their leases when it comes to fire prevention and detection measures.

16.    We manage our performance by regularly reviewing and reporting against a range of Key Performance Targets:

  • number and percentage of FRAs completed on time
  • fire equipment servicing completed against target dates
  • the volumes of ‘work in progress’ FRA actions by age and risk level.

17.    We review our fire management plan annually with our Board to ensure that it is relevant and meets ever changing standards and best practice.