A Year On From Grenfell… How Have We Responded?
In the last few weeks, the media has been flooded with tributes to those who sadly lost their lives in Grenfell Tower, as well as former residents still seeking a home in the fire’s aftermath.
This horrific incident happened just over a year ago – for many, it is still fresh, and those in the residential property market are still in talks about how to prevent such a tragedy from occurring again.
urbanbubble have been working hard, behind the scenes, to assure safety across the sites we manage. Here’s an update on what we’ve been doing to protect our residents:
Extensive material reviews
Following Grenfell, any structure nationwide over 18m tall was assessed for the safety of its materials. However, the Mayor of Manchester went one step further, and set up a taskforce to examine every single building that is currently rented in the city.
Grenfell Tower’s cladding was an anomaly, in some respects. These aluminium panels were combustible with poor installation standards; far from the quality of cladding used on urbanbubble sites around the city.
Still, 11 out of 60 properties under our control were deemed to have ‘unsatisfactory compartmentalisation’, which means that – were a fire to break out – it wouldn’t necessarily be contained.
Two of those 11 have aluminium features; we are working with the fire department to determine how and when the existing cladding can be removed. Soon enough, this will lead to new fascia being installed, as well as 100% fulfilment on our mitigation promise.
Fire detection and management
Issues such as how to deal with flames if they do gain a foothold somewhere have thrown property management into a starker light. Services like ours do not simply pick up post in the lobby; we are here to uphold stringent safety measures as part of our resident care offering.
urbanbubble have therefore set up a ‘waking watch’ within the two residencies mentioned above. Two people are on-site, every hour of the day, keeping an eye on the internal and external safety of the structure around them. This will remain in place until cladding mitigation has been performed.
Detection systems have been upgraded across the board, whilst compartmentalisation has improved across our portfolio.
If you’re a stakeholder, or a current resident in an urbanbubble scheme, you can liaise with your property manager for further information about fire safety in your block.