Posted14.03.19

Fire Safety at Evolve

Fire safety is our number one top priority at Evolve. This document sets out our approach to ensuring the safety of the people we support, our staff and our buildings.

We have in place a fire safety policy and framework that enables us to fully work within the legal requirements for fire safety and ensure that the risks associated with fire are managed effectively. We provide housing and support to homeless and vulnerable people, some of whom will pose an inherent risk due to their support needs. Fire safety and the safety of the people we support, and staff, is of paramount importance to us, and something that our senior managers and Board are fully committed to.

  • All of our buildings operate full evacuation policies.
  • Each site has a fire evacuation procedure.
  • We conduct external, expert Fire Risk assessments annually and Health + Safety Risk Assessments.
  • Individual service users all have staying safe plans, and risk of fire is a specific category so that we can identify if this is present and its cause. If this is due to living skills it is included in their support plans as a risk management plan in order to reduce this risk.
  • Every site has a comprehensive fire detection system, the components of which are serviced regularly and under contract. Each site is different, but depending on the layout and design of the building there are fire safety features such as automatic opening vents and dry risers.
  • Daily, weekly and monthly Health + Safety checks are carried out by on-site staff as is weekly call point testing and monthly emergency light testing.
  • Staff receive fire safety and health and safety training in their induction period and refreshers annually thereafter.
  • Fire drills are held twice annually at all sites.

We work very closely with London Fire Brigade, who inspect our services to ensure our buildings operate as safely as possible. We have worked closely with the National Housing Federation and other members to share information and good practice.

 We have conducted expert fire risk assessments of all large sites.

  • We have carried out additional fire safety works across all large services to meet enhanced standards.
  • We have worked with local Fire Brigades to enhance the safety of our services.
  • We have commissioned fire system zone charts and installed fire brigade boxes across large sites.
  • We have appointed a new contractor for fire detection systems and conducted services of all large sites.
  • We have restructured housing management services to accommodate Hackitt review and fire safety duties.

We will continue to incorporate the recommendations of the Hackitt review and guidance from the Building Safety Programme into our fire safety practice over the coming 12 months and plan to;

  • Launch our updated Fire Safety Policy.
  • Implement an organisational fire safety action plan for large works.
  • Provide more specialist staff training at appropriate levels to ensure sufficient skills and expertise.
  • Roll out a new Fire Risk Assessment format across all services.
  • Collate digital records of construction, layout and materials of all sites.
  • Monitor and tighten our local practice through improved reporting and monitoring.

If you have any queries regarding our approach to Fire Safety, please contact Debra Ives, Director of Operations: debra.ives@evolvehousing.org.uk

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