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Building safety requirements

Following the Grenfell Tower fire the Government introduced a range of new safety requirements for building owners and landlords followed by two significant pieces of legislation – the Fire Safety Act 2021 and the Building Safety Act 2022.

These determine the approach we take to managing safety in our buildings and our residents’ homes.

As an immediate response to the Grenfell tragedy and preceding the introduction of new legislation the Government introduced a range of advice notes for building owners initially focusing on taller building above 18 metres with external cladding systems.

These advice notes required building owners to review the fire safety of external cladding and insulation, and all external and internal fire stopping measures for taller buildings above 18 metres in height.

In early 2022 the Government withdrew the previous advice notes and introduced the BSI PAS9980, a new framework for assessing the external wall fire risk in multi-occupied residential buildings.

PAS9980 incorporates guidance on how fire risk assessments need to be carried out by building owners and the type of fire risk assessment required for different types of buildings. Newlon’s programme of fire safety inspections is determined by requirements of PAS9980, as well as any other requirements set out in the Building Safety Act and Fire Safety Act.

Fire risk assessments

Fire risk assessments (FRAs) are one of the most important ways of maintaining fire safety compliance in our buildings. FRAs are carried out regularly for all of our buildings.

If you would like to find out about the FRA for where you live please contact firesafety@newlon.org.uk or call us on 020 7613 8080.

Inspection programme, interim measures and remedial works

In line with Government guidance following the Grenfell Tower fire Newlon has completed a detailed inspection programme carried out by fire safety specialists for all our buildings above 18 metres in height.

In a number cases these investigations have found that remedial fire safety works are required. Reasons for this can include the type cladding or insulation materials used in a building’s construction as well as issues with fire stopping measures, usually as a result of construction defects.

In some instances following liaison with our specialist fire safety engineers and the London Fire Brigade interim safety measures have been required to ensure buildings remain safe to live in until remedial works are completed. These measures can include fire warden patrols, installation of thermal imaging cameras, and sometimes changes to the fire strategy for a building. For example the evacuation strategy in the event of a fire could be changed from ‘stay put’ to ‘controlled evacuation’.

If remedial works or interim fire safety measures are required at your building we will contact you to explain in more detail about what is needed and any changes you may need to be aware of. Once works are scheduled we will update residents on a regular basis until completion.

Newlon has set up a Special Projects team to oversee our programme of building inspections and remedial works. We are also investing significant additional funding, working to access available Government funding and actively seeking agreements or taking action against contractors so that works can be completed as quickly as possible.

Due to a number of factors including a shortage in available funding, the potential requirement to take legal action against contractors where no agreement can be reached to remedy construction defects and capacity in the sector to carry out works, it will be a number of years before our full remedial works programme is completed.

We want to assure residents that we are working as quickly as we can to specify and carry out works where they are required and to start onsite as soon as possible.

This is a national issue not restricted to Newlon and as well as introducing new legislation the Government has set up the Building Safety Fund to provide funding for remedial works in buildings with leaseholders.

Newlon has been successful in bidding for Building Safety Fund funding for a number of our buildings where residual fire safety works are required, which has helped to get works onsite more quickly than otherwise would have been possible.

How do I find out about my building?

We have been contacting residents who live in any of the affected buildings to let them know about the outcome of our fire safety inspection programme and whether any remedial works are required.

Once we know that works are needed we will regularly update you on progress and there will be a Project Manager or Resident Liaison Officer assigned to manage the project and keep residents up to date.

If you are unclear about the block where you live please contact us by email at firesafety@newlon.org.uk for more information.

Form EWS1

Information about form EWS1 can be found in our information for leaseholders section.