In the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London, we at SBHA would like to offer our condolences to all those affected and also provide a message of reassurance to our Tenants.
Tenant safety is of paramount importance to us, and we work closely with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to make sure that we have the most robust measures in place to ensure this. If you have any concerns about fire safety in your building, please contact us immediately on 01750 724444.
The Scottish Government has identified properties over 18m as presenting particularly high risks. SBHA does not have any such high-rise buildings, and we are assured that any cladding or External Wall Insulation (EWI) used on our low-rise homes meets with current fire standards and installation practices.
Whilst this provides SBHA Tenants with some reassurance, in the light of the tragedy we will be conducting our own extra measures to ensure Tenant safety. This will include a review of External Wall Insulation used and a check that any subsequent works that may have been carried out to the envelope of these buildings has not compromised any existing safety measures. We will continue to carry out tests on the communal alarm systems in our amenity housing (for older people), as well as reviewing other fire safety procedures as necessary.
As a Tenant, there are measures that you can take to ensure your own and others’ safety. In is essential that communal halls and escape staircases are kept free from any combustible materials and anything that can compromise escape from the building in an emergency. Our Neighbourhood Teams are conducting checks of these areas and reinforcing advice that they must be kept clear in the interest of your safety.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service provides the following advice:
- It is essential that your home has a working smoke alarm on each level of the property. Tenants should regularly check that alarms are functioning by pressing the test button on the alarm and notify SBHA if they do not operate or if they require further assistance or advice. If a fire starts, working alarms will give you and your family essential time to get to safety.
- Doors slow down the spread of potentially deadly smoke and flames, so it is important to remember to close them at night. This is especially true of lounge and kitchen doors.
- Fire often starts in the kitchen and no-one should ever leave a cooker unattended while it is in use. It is also important to stay with any lit candles and make sure they are kept away from children and pets, and from curtains or other flammable materials.
- Switch off and unplug appliances like TVs, washing machines, mobile phone chargers and tumble driers, particularly when you are sleeping or out of the house. Switching off at the socket and pulling the plug out is the only way to be sure no electricity is flowing through an appliance. Just using the socket switch isn’t safe because the switch could be faulty. As well as keeping you safer, switching off and unplugging things at the wall saves you electricity and money!
- Appliances like fridge-freezers, videos with timers and cordless phones are designed to be left on.
Comprehensive fire safety advice can be found on the Scottish Fire Service’s website.