Building and Fire Safety

The safety of residents is our number one priority. We have robust procedures and comprehensive controls in place regarding fire safety which are reviewed and tested on a regular basis. Your safety is our top concern – that is why we carry out fire risk assessments as required by law.

 

Gateway has a comprehensive fire safety policy and we ensure compliance with legislation and good practice guidance. Your property has regular independent Fire Risk Assessments and any actions identified are promptly acted upon and monitored until completed. We work with the fire service to ensure we have plans in place to safely evacuate our properties. Please ensure you are familiar with the Fire Safety Notice for your building which is posted in the lobbies and communal areas.

 

All buildings are now affected by new legislation being passed by the Government to meet compliance guidelines regarding fire safety within the external wall by having an external wall survey (EWS) carried out.

Gateway are now planning on carrying out building assessments and progress on matters being resolved.

 

  1. Why do you need to inspect my building?
  2. Is My Building Included?
  3. What is a EWS Assessment?
  4. What type of Building needs to have EWS1 forms?
  5. What is the EWS process?
  6. Will I receive a copy of the survey?
  7. Who can I speak to about any queries?
  8. Who will carry out the RAGS Assessment?
  9. Do I need to provide access to my flat?
  10. How does this affect selling/ staircasing/remortgage my flat?

Building Safety FAQs

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Building Safety

  1. Why do you need to inspect my building?

    Since the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in 2017, the government has amended the building safety guidelines by issuing a series of advice notes and processes for building owners.

    In order to comply and pass the safety standards we need to ensure that all building safety guidelines as outlined in the Ministry of Housing and Local Communities advice notes are fulfilled. Gateway Housing will be following through on a staged program of Desktop Surveys, recommended Intrusive surveys and follow up remedial works if necessary, to the external wall and structures of buildings and the materials being non-combustible.

    The following link gives a clearer explanation on why and in which circumstances lenders require an EWS1 form to be completed before a sale can complete.

    https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/the-external-wall-fire-review-process-ews/

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  2. Is My Building Included?

    We can assure you that Gateway are committed to ensuring fire safety across all our buildings. We will continue to provide regular Fire Risk Assessments and safety / maintenance respectively as part of our responsibility on day to day management of your building.

    . If once we have undertaken our assessment it becomes clear that remedial works are necessary, we will work closely with our expert consultants to ascertain if the building remains safe to occupy in its current state or if we need to implement emergency interim measures to guarantee the safety of our residents.  

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  3. What is a EWS Assessment?

    An External Wall Survey (EWS) Risk assessment which we are currently completing across all of our buildings which have two or more sets of domestic premises, this assessment will give us priority recommendations with regard to the requirements needed to comply with both current and new legislation. This is based upon a RAG (Red Amber Green) priority-based system to allow Gateway to plan further investigation into the buildings, which culminate in a provision of an EWS1 form for the blocks.

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  4. What type of Building needs to have EWS1 forms?

    For buildings over six storeys where:

    • There is cladding or curtain wall glazing on the building or
    • there are balconies which stack vertically above each other and either both the balustrades and decking are constructed with combustible materials (e.g. timber) or the decking is constructed with combustible materials and the balconies are directly linked by combustible material.

    For buildings of five or six storeys where:

    • There is a significant amount of cladding on the building (for the purpose of this guidance, approximately one quarter of the whole elevation estimated from what is visible standing at ground level is a significant amount) or
    • there are ACM, MCM or HPL panels on the building** or
    • there are balconies which stack vertically above each other and either both the balustrades and decking are constructed with combustible materials (e.g. timber), or the decking is constructed with combustible materials and the balconies are directly linked by combustible materials.

    For buildings of four storeys or where:

    • There are ACM, MCM or HPL panels on the building**.
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  5. What is the EWS process?

    The first stage is a RAG assessment which categorises our buildings using the RICS RAG assessment tool   

    We will not need to enter into the flats to undertake this. Costs will be covered by Gateway Housing for this stage.

    Once we have concluded the RAG assessment, we will then conduct a full visual survey of the buildings that have been highlighted as a potential risk to our residents. This process includes.

     

    • Examine all property information 
    • Undertake a visual inspection and full drone survey
    • Identify on plan areas for potential inspection to satisfy EWS1 assessor (Fire Engineer).
    • Prepare a report together with recommendations to undertake necessary invasive surveys to secure the EWS1 form.

     

    The next stage is a fully intrusive survey of the building. This will enable our expert consultants to ascertain the construction build-up of the external wall and issue a report setting out what remedial works will be necessary if any.

    However, to ensure that we are compliant with all government safety guidelines Gateway are beginning carry out inspections / RAG assessments to all buildings which have two or more sets of domestic premises.

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  6. Will I receive a copy of the survey?

    The report is produced for the use of Gateway Housing exclusively. We will do our best to summarise any findings and progressive actions needed to remedy any items that need to be in line with consultation and keeping our customers engaged and informed about the next steps of the programme of works if required.

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  7. Who can I speak to about any queries?

    If you need any more information, you can contact your housing officer or leasehold officer by email on leaseholders@gatewayhousing.org.uk

    They will be happy to liaise with our building safety team to answer any questions and provide you with up to date information. If any matters are deemed to be of high priority, then we will escalate the query to get a satisfactory response within our customer service standards.

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  8. Who will carry out the RAGS Assessment?

    All affected buildings will be inspected by an independent qualified fire engineer appointed by Gateway – please note private surveys cannot be commissioned by any third party and can only be carried out by the Landlord Gateway Housing

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  9. Do I need to provide access to my flat?

    Most of the surveys will be done externally and once any works are identified, we will consult and advise of the programme of works and timelines.

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  10. How does this affect selling/ staircasing/remortgage my flat?

    We appreciate the stressful impact on residents who have had their plans to move, staircase or remortgage their homes interrupted as a result of the approach that lenders are taking, and we want to do everything we can to offer support.

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Total results: 10