2020 with a background of fire works
Happy New Year!

What happened in the Industry in 2019?

Fire safety remained the main area of focus in 2019, capturing headlines in the most unfortunate and tragic ways as well as industry attention through a series of anticipated post-Grenfell outcomes.

In case you missed some of these, here’s a reminder:

  • On 6th June 2019 the Building a Safer Future Consultation document was released, which incorporated all of the recommendations from the Hackitt Review and more, proposing a more stringent approach to accountability and stronger requirements for multi-occupied high-rise buildings.
  • In September 2019, a four-storey residential block in Worcester Park, Sutton was completely destroyed in a fire which required 125 firefighters to tackle. Thankfully, nobody was injured in the blaze, however, after the incident questions were asked as to whether government regulations imposed after Grenfell should be extended to cover smaller developments.
  • In October 2019, the Queen delivered her speech that set out the government’s agenda for the coming session, outlining proposed policies and legislation. In her speech, the Queen stated that “Ministers will … bring forward laws to implement new building safety standards.”

What has happened in 2019 for us?

Needless to say, we felt the impact of all of this through an increased reliance on our support services, and an increased interest in Fire safety from other professional bodies; such as insurers and lenders. Even with this, 2019 has still been a year for enhancing other areas of safety; including our free to use web portals.

In 2019 we launched our refreshed and revamped Safe4site portal for assuring the safety of contractors working on your managed sites. Property managers can now log in to send report actions as quote requests and work orders directly to their preferred and accredited contractors, safe in the knowledge that we have pre-vetted their procedures for safety assurance.

As well as this, we have been involved in supporting numerous industry events, working with bodies such as the ARMA, IRPM as well as some emerging industry events with recognised and reputable partners, such as the Leasehold Management Professionals, PLP Fire, and Flat Living.  

Of course, with such a busy year, came the requirement to add additional professionals on our team and we’ve welcomed a number of new starters, continually growing and adapting in both strength and competence.

What do we predict for 2020?

Fire is still in the lime-light for 2020 and may well be for a number of years to come, however, we have seen a notable demand for Asbestos Refurbishment and Demolition (R&D) Surveys. These surveys are intrusive and destructive in nature and are required (for any building constructed before the year 2000) immediately prior to any intrusive works taking place. The industry as a whole has long been aware of the legal requirement to hold Asbestos Management Surveys and supply them to contractors prior to works, but it is only recently that we have noticed a growing awareness about the requirements for Asbestos R&D surveys, and this can only be a good thing.

We predict that this trend will continue throughout 2020 and we aim to support this with more information, articles and seminars to both educate and support the growing appetite of an industry continually improving at recognising its legal obligations and the impact on the safety of residents and contractors sent to managed sites.

o             New Building Safety Manager Role

o             Clearer Accountability and a Golden Thread of information

o             Increased Resident Engagement

o             Stricter enforcement and higher fines for non-compliance

We will aim to keep you updated as the year progresses, so watch this space!