Summary of our College Bank Q&A session

On 1st October, we held an online Facebook chat for residents in College Bank to ask our team about fire safety. We have published below a summary of the questions asked and our responses. If any College Bank resident has any further queries and would like to make appointment with our team, please email us on collegebank@rbh.org.uk or call us on Freephone 0800 027 7769.


Given there have never been any breaches of compartmentalisation in College Bank from fires either before or after 1998, is this waking watch really necessary?

Our overriding priority is the safety of residents at College Bank. After the recent fire risk assessments identified these issues and in discussion with both our independent advisors and Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, we have put in place measures to keep residents safe.

 

How do you intend on getting disabled residents out in the event of a fire without the use of a lift?

We have contacted all residents to ask them if they need any support or assistance during an evacuation. We will work with all residents who need additional support to create a personal emergency evacuation plan. These will also be shared with the waking watch, and with the Fire Service if they attend an incident. We have already spoken to a large number of residents and we encourage any residents who have not done so to contact us so that we can put an evacuation plan in place and provide the support needed.

 

Can you tell us your plans to keep residents safe?

We acted quickly to put the “waking watch” in place. This is to keep residents safe by looking for any signs of fire and helping residents to evacuate in the unlikely event that this is necessary. Whilst this temporary measure is in place, we are taking expert advice in order to implement a longer-term solution.

 

What are the details of the “inappropriate work” undertaken in 1998?

We found a poor standard of work which, in certain circumstances, could contribute to the spread of fire horizontally between flats on the same floor. We are currently taking legal advice on this.

 

How are the RBH Board holding the Executive Team to account?

Both our elected Representative Body and our Board of Directors have been and will continue to be fully informed of the situation at College Bank. Their overriding focus is on the safety of residents.

 

What Fire Risk Assessment was undertaken in 2017? Who commissioned and provided the report?

The Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs) carried out this year go beyond the current requirements and have been carried out in the spirit of the Hackitt report and ahead of anticipated changes in 2021. The FRAs in 2017 were commissioned by RBH and carried out by independent accredited experts. These assessments met the requirements at the time and still meet current requirements.

 

Was a survey actually done when RBH took over the flats and what was the outcome regarding fire risk?

Legal warranties were provided by the Council when ownership of the flats transferred to RBH in 2012. We are currently taking legal advice on these.

 

What do the waking watch do and who do we contact in an emergency?

The waking watch are providing a 24-hour walking patrol around all seven blocks at College Bank. There is one person on duty in each block at any given time. If residents have any concern about a suspected fire, please call 999 and ask for the fire service. For any RBH queries, you can contact the concierge, email us on collegebank@rbh.org.uk, or call Freephone 0800 027 7769.

 

Why has the broken window in Mardyke only just been replaced?

The window was secured after the tragic incident in Mardyke and was recently re-secured after it was reported that there was further damage.

 

What was the vehicle with fire extinguishers on it doing at College Bank last week?

These fire extinguishers are from other RBH buildings and are just being stored temporarily in a spare storage room at College Bank.

 

Will there be another Q&A in the future as not everyone has been able to attend?

We have offered all residents the opportunity to make an appointment with our team to answer any and all questions or concerns that they have. If you would like to make an appointment, please email us on collegebank@rbh.org.uk or call us on 0800 027 7769.