Lewisham Homes has begun implementing an action plan to address new duties set out in the Fire Safety Act 2021 and those expected to follow as the draft Building Safety bill becomes law.
As a result of the Fire Safety Act, new fire risk assessments (FRAs) will become more comprehensive and intrusive and will include consideration of the exterior of the building, including exterior balconies.
The other major implication of the act is the introduction of regular fire doors checks on front doors to individual flats and also communal fire doors, including those on service cupboards. The frequency has not yet been specified, and will be dependent on the type of block/height of the building, but these checks will be a legislative requirement with access compulsory for all residents, including leaseholders.
Lewisham Homes is also in the process of creating a new, dedicated building safety team, in preparation for the Building Safety bill becoming law. This will mainly impact the tall buildings we manage (six storeys or more).
Each high-rise building will have a named building safety manager who will be a point of contact for residents and ensure that all the requirements from the new regulator for social housing are met. This will include annual certification for all tall buildings.
Our action plan seeks to move us in the direction the legislation is travelling and build our competence and capacity to address its requirements. Over time, we will need to amend and update the action plan as more details emerge from the government and the new regulator.
We commit to keep residents informed, consulted with and able to influence the operation and development of these services.