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Since the fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, the government has released several advice notes on building safety, particularly around tall buildings (buildings that are at least 18 metres in height or have at least seven storeys and have at least two residential units).
There has been lots reported in the news about important changes to how landlords manage high-rise blocks. We want to make sure you know what these changes mean and how we at Torus are keeping you safe in your home.
As your landlord, we have a legal duty to meet all applicable statutory requirements that we provide for the health and safety of occupants in their homes and to keep the neighbourhood and communal areas associated with the homes that we own clean and safe.
We do this by carrying out regular safety checks on your home - gas, fire, electrical, asbestos, water, lifts - these are to protect you, your family and your neighbours. We will communicate with you when safety checks are required and offer you an appointment, if the appointment offered is unsuitable, it is important to contact us as soon as possible to arrange a more suitable time to visit your home.
Under the Fire Safety Act 2021, the government has released several new regulations on fire safety, particularly around tall buildings (buildings that are at least 18 metres in height or have at least seven storeys and have at least two residential units).
This guidance requires that building owners must understand the construction of the buildings external walls and how they may perform in fire. There is also a requirement for building owners to carry out inspections on all fire doors throughout the building (including flat entrance doors) to ensure your safety.
An independent review of Building Regulation and Fire Safety took place in the aftermath of Grenfell, which found that some landlords had failed to safely manage their higher risk buildings effectively. As a result, they have proposed the biggest changes to building safety legislation in nearly 40 years called the Building Safety Act 2022, which received Royal Assent and became and an Act of Parliament on 28 April 2022.
Currently these proposed regulations will apply to four of our buildings that are either at least 18 metres in height or have at least seven storeys and have at least two residential units:
It is possible that other types of buildings may be added to this list in the future.
All our blocks, regardless of height, are currently subject to individual Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs). If you require the assessment for your building, please contact us.
The government is implementing the reforms through the Building Safety Act 2022 and has charged the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), as an established and experienced regulator, with forming the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) in England. The BSR will be responsible for enforcing and implementing the new regulations. We will be responsible for meeting the requirements of the new legislation, which will include the following:
We have a dedicated Health, Safety and Environmental team who manage the requirements of the new legislation. The team will also listen to the safety concerns of you and other residents and make sure they are dealt with quickly and effectively.
The Health, Safety and Environmental team must submit safety case reports to the regulator demonstrating how our four higher-risk buildings are a safe place to live.
Once the regulator is satisfied with the measures in place, they will issue a building assessment certificate. This building assessment certificate will be displayed within the building.
We must provide a Resident Engagement Strategy which explains how you can be involved in the decision-making around safety matters within your building.
Torus plan to host resident focus groups on Building Safety, these panels will give residents an opportunity to put forward their voice on important safety issues and ongoing work programmes.
Our Torus Tenant Voice team will lead on the ways you can get involved.
Under the new regulations, you will have access to information regarding the fire and structural safety of your building and will be able to request further information if you wish.
Under the new regulations, you will be responsible for co-operating with the Torus, whilst also ensuring your actions do not compromise the safety of the building and others.
In November 2021, as part of our ongoing commitment to continue to invest in safety and to make your homes as safe as possible, Torus signed up to the Building a Safer Future (BSF) Charter.
The Charter was created in the wake of the Grenfell disaster, to promote an urgent and positive culture and behaviour change in the safety of the built environment. It is about putting people’s safety first in how we plan, design, build and maintain the buildings we live and work in.
Signing the Charter, demonstrates our commitment to building a safer future, whilst aligning with the organisational pledge to embed a safety plus approach throughout Torus and the communities we serve.
Becoming a Charter Registered Signatory confirms our commitment to acting in five areas:
Torus recognises that becoming a Registered Signatory is an important first step towards achieving the culture and behavioural change required in relation to the Charter’s objectives around building safety. In confirming our support as a Registered Signatory, we will now be working to ensure that we embed the principles of the Charter into our organisation’s activities.