Monday, March 5, 2012

Fire Safety Meeting reminder

Everyone should have received a letter from Ron Dixon, Head of Mechanical & Electrical at Lewisham Homes, inviting us to a meeting tomorrow.

Tuesday 6 March, 7pm-8pm at Deptford Lounge

The meeting is to "talk through what our fire policy is and what it means for residents", with an opportunity to answer any questions people may have.  

In the past, we have been requested to keep communal areas clear to minimise fire risk, and asked to "Never leave refuse sacks, bicycles, children's buggies, plant pots, washing or other obstructions in communal corridors or walkways."

One question might be: if Lewisham Homes want us to clear our balconies of obstructions to comply with fire regulations, what opportunities for outside storage can they provide?

We have recently been informed they have no plans to properly administer the existing storage areas (bike/pram sheds and "drying rooms"), so that everyone might have an opportunity to rent a space. Presently, it is a free-for-all whereby some people are paying rent on a shed whilst others are not, some have more than one shed whilst others have none, and a shed might only be acquired by breaking into one that appears not to be in use.

What are the safe and secure options for storing bikes (and indeed, pushchairs and prams) for those who have to store them outside their homes because their flats are too small, as well as, in some cases, having to carry them up five flights of stairs?

Meanwhile, many people will be strongly opposed to removing their balcony pot plants – will we be hearing alternative plans for the balcony gardens that presently, and in most cases, contribute considerably to the health and wellbeing of residents?

Another question might be: why is this meeting being held at the Lounge when we have a space of our own for such meetings?


  1. The first question to ask him is whether he has actually read the Local Government Group's July 2011 guidance 'Fire safety in purpose-built
    blocks of flats' Beware of any weasaling responses such as 'I am aware of it', either he has read it or he has not.

    Lewisham Homes fail to comprehend that the issues for internal corridors and external walkways are somewhat different. With internal corridors the dangers are things like packaging materials like expanded polystyrene that will fill a corridor or stairwell with toxic smoke thereby blocking occupants means of escape. 'Flowerpot police' seem to be exclusive to Lewisham Homes and seem to be part not having read the guidance and part bullying tenants for the fun of it.

    The move to ALMOs came about because of the last government's bizarre financial rules. Many councils around the country are now closing them down and bringing housing back under direct control so hopefully we will not have to put up with Lewisham Homes for much longer.

  2. This is a good opportunity to clarify questions about fire safety regulations at home to prevent any fire incidence. This is a whole let better than calling the fire brigade because of the occurrence of fire.