Agenda item

Building Safety Update


Gary Penticost, Director of Operational Assets, was present for this item and provided Members with details on the Building Safety Strategy for Council Owned residential dwellings including High Rise Buildings. It was noted that the Building Safety Act 2022 set out a safety requirement for landlords of high-risk residential buildings, the Act would become enforceable from October 2023. Some of the main responsibilities that the Council would assume under the Act primarily for residential buildings at least 18m or 7 Storeys high, with 2 or more residential units included:


·         Duty to provide Information about the building and its safety to residents, tenants and leaseholders.

·         Duty to register high -rise residential buildings.

·         Duty to carry out safety assessments.

·         Duty to ensure that remedial works are carried out.

·         Duty to cooperate with the Building Safety Regulator.


It was confirmed that the Council had 10 high rise blocks under their management in the Borough. It was highlighted that officers had utilised the government’s fire risk assessment priority rating in assessing the 10 high rise blocks and all had received a very low risk rating. Members were also informed that 6 of the 10 blocks had sprinkler systems installed.


Officers informed the Committee of an ongoing project underway for properties to receive new fire rated fuse board units, roughly 8,700 had been fitted over three years. It was highlighted that the Council was ahead of the curve with regard to this work when compared to other local authorities as central government had only very recently pushed fire rated fuse board installation as a mandatory requirement.


The Committee congratulated officers and their team on the good work carried out under the Building Safety Strategy which held Hillingdon in good esteem. The Committee sought to ensure that all residents were aware of what to do in the event of fire and with regard to the Draft Stay Put Policy. Members were informed that all of the Council’s high rise blocks had at least one form of fire escape and wayfinding signage installed across all floors; a residents fire safety information pack was in development to be distributed to all residents of high rise blocks. Officers noted that guidance would state that if the fire was in the property, residents would be advised to evacuate; if a fire was close to the property but it was safe to evacuate, then the residents should evacuate. It was also reiterated that the Council’s high rise buildings had all received a very low risk rating, the Council only used third party accredited fire doors which were proven to provide a minimum of 30 minutes fire and smoke resistance, in addition to the sprinkler systems in some of the high rise blocks. It was confirmed that the blocks that did not have sprinkler systems installed were due to be demolished in the short term, however, all other fire safety measures were in place and even those buildings earmarked for demolition had been assessed for fire risk and were deemed to be very low risk.


The Chairman thanked officers for the work they did on behalf of the Council and commended the robust building safety work carried out throughout the Borough.


RESOLVED That the Property, Highways and Transport Select Committee:


1)    Noted the supporting information for Fire Safety within the body of the report; and,


2)    Noted the Operational Delivery Plan.

Supporting documents: