Fire safety: “Don’t lock our fire escapes!”

We are very concerned that Camden Council may lock the fire escapes on the roof because of concerns about safety.

We asked you to email our local councillors and the cabinet member for housing, Meric Apak, to urge them not to lock the fire escape doors on the roofs and to improve the safety of the walkways between blocks. Lots of you did email and we received a very positive response and suggested ways forward from both Meric and local councillor, Oliver Lewis.

Here’s why we think this issue is important. Camden Council’s last Safety Review concluded that the fire doors leading to the roofs should be locked because they were worried about people’s safety on the roofs. We believe that this decision breaks fire regulations because buildings of this height should have two exits. Our flats are not ‘sealed units’ and therefore the Council’s advice is to evacuate in the event of fire rather than remain in flats. We therefore must have two escape routes.

We provided a SAMPLE LETTER for you to adapt.

After our public meeting last year, and our continuing consultations with Camden Council, we are pleased that they are taking forward the following fire safety measures:

  • ensuring that all flat doors meet the ’30 minute’ fire safety standard – at no cost to tenants or leaseholders
  • installing hard-wired smoke alarms in the communal areas of all blocks
  • checking the wiring and fuse boxes of all tenants. Leaseholders are encouraged please to get their own wiring checked.

Helping improve bins and bike provision

Bike Storage

Camden Council is planning to build a number of new cycle storage racks on our Estate. You can see the proposed sites on this map. Locations highlighted in orange indicate existing provision with numbers that are circled indicating covered storage areas. Locations highlighted in pink are those which had been previously proposed but have been rejected because of impact on the character of the Conservation Area. Locations highlighted in green are those which are now seen as possible locations moving forward.

We asked you for information about whether you use a bike and would like to have bike storage (or if you do not have a bike but may get one if there was safe cycle storage.

We brought together all the comments that people sent through and had a walk around the proposed sites with Ivan Christmas on Friday March 16th. We will be working closely with Camden to see that the bike storage provision works for everyone and that there will be further consultation with residents.

Refuse bins and recycling provision

Our Estate Manager is keen to find out residents’ concerns and thoughts about the accessibility, location and effectiveness of bins and recycling on the Estate. (An example is whether or not you have difficulties with the small opening on the locked recycling bins). We gathered information from you and presented this to the Estate Manager in a walk around the Estate on the 15th March.

Xmas Party

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On Saturday 16th December we held our Christmas Party. There was a great turn out. Thanks to everyone who came along and also to those who helped out on the day. The kids enjoyed receiving presents from Santa and playing games, and the adults had a lovely timthumb_IMG_1349_1024e meeting old and new friends, with delicious food including mince pies and donated mulled wine and hot spicy apple juice.

Huge thanks go to Shannon Francis for organising the party.

Sorting out fire safety

On 9th October we organised a meeting in the Community Centre to discuss fire safety concerns with Camden Council. Over 40 people heard from Paul Leavey, Quality Assurance Team and responsible for fire safety; and Meric Apac, Cabinet Member for Housing; as well as contributions from two of our local councillors, Oliver Lewis and Sian Berry.

Grace Livingstone from the TRA presented the main points that had arisen in conversations with Camden since summer. People who came along strongly expressed their thoughts and priorities on what needed to be done, particularly about the need to keep the roof fire exits open, and to repair the walkways between blocks. You can read a summary of the meeting here.

We will be following up all the points raised and decided over the coming months, including a walk around the Estate with the fire brigade, as well as a meeting with Pellings, the company who will be reviewing fire safety on the Estate and suggesting related works.