We introduced our first Clear Corridors policy in 2020, to simplify our approach to the fire risks caused by residents leaving items in communal areas. Taking into account feedback from residents, we updated the policy in November 2021. Details of the policy can be found here.
It means no items, other than some very specific exceptions, are allowed in communal corridors. Prior to rolling it out across all the stock we manage, we consulted TRAs (tenants’ and residents’ associations), publicised, and piloted the scheme. We used a contractor to regularly check blocks, ‘sticker’ items and then remove them if residents had not responded.
While this was very effective in reducing risks and removing obstructions to means of escape and rescue, we had some useful feedback from councillors and residents on how the contractors implemented the policy. One of the frequent and understandable complaints was that residents objected to people whom they don’t know tampering with their property.
In July 2021, we conducted a Clear Corridors briefing and Q&A session for TRA chairs and secretaries. The majority of attendees expressed their preference for the programme to be delivered in-house. This would mean our own caretakers, who have established relationships with estates and residents, would be responsible for enforcing the policy.
We’ve acted on their recommendations and brought the service in-house with effect from 1 April 2022 and made some changes to the way it operates. We’ll continue to put safety first, but we believe the in-house team will be more effective, efficient and people-focused.