Britain's pandemic lockdowns may have led Housing providers to have greater insight into their residents’ varying levels of vulnerability than ever before, which, from a fire safety perspective, presents a window of opportunity.
By proactively attempting to contact all residents at the start of lockdown, councils like the London Borough of Enfield have been able to engage with tenants and consider their needs beyond the crisis. As a result of these proactive welfare calls, Enfield is making further contact with their most vulnerable tenants that would be most likely to benefit from a person-centred fire risk assessments (PCFRA).
For those living in general needs housing, social landlords will need to seek additional and practical measures such as preventative technologies to ensure adequate protection for their most vulnerable residents.
While housing providers have been exceptional at ensuring their residents, particularly those considered to be vulnerable, get the support they need through the pandemic, my hope is that many of the lessons learned from taking this approach will be adopted long term.
In doing so, housing providers will be in a position to better tackle fire safety – an issue which, let’s face it, isn’t going away any time soon.
Director of BBFS.