Addressing legacy issues in the fire safety sector with Quelfire


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A recent article from Darryl Wells, the Commercial & Development Director at Quelfire, sheds light on the pressing challenges faced by those in the construction industry, particularly concerning fire safety.

In his post, Wells brings attention to instances where firestopping installations may not have been entirely compliant. The full post can be found here.

Legacy issues: The cost of getting it wrong

“Like fixing anything that goes wrong, legacy issues are no stranger to a hefty price,” says Wells.

As an illustration of this, in July 2023, Barratt Development allocated £180m to address the safety concerns of legacy buildings, following a £434.6m provision in 2022.

Addressing legacy issues in retrofit projects can be particularly costly, with challenges such as limited access and significant disruptions to buildings.

Opting for competent products from trustworthy manufacturers during the initial stages of construction is highlighted as a more cost-effective and prudent choice.

Avoiding legacy issues: The proactive approach

For Wells, the solution is clear: “Do it right, do it once.” Early engagement, while it may seem to slow down projects initially, allows for timely identification of potential problems.

“Engaging all stakeholders in the early stages ensures installations that align with manufacturer guidelines, averting unforeseen costs and bolstering reputations.

Another crucial strategy highlighted is the “golden thread of information”, a concept born from Hackitt’s Building Safety Review.

This process ensures that vital information about a building’s lifecycle is collated and maintained consistently.

Such practices reduce the chances of oversight and potential legacy issues, aiming to maintain the safety of the building and its inhabitants.

Furthermore, industry software provides invaluable support. By maintaining up-to-date records, there’s a clear trail, eliminating potential vulnerabilities in the future.

For those grappling with legacy issues, Wells’s message is one of hope and urgency: To genuinely address these concerns, there’s a need to evolve past practices, learn from errors, and embrace a proactive approach.

IFSJ Comment

Darryl Wells’s insights are especially poignant in the current climate where the focus on fire safety has never been sharper.

Legacy issues not only have financial implications but also endanger lives.

Addressing these concerns isn’t merely about compliance; it’s about creating a culture of safety and responsibility.

Early engagement, up-to-date documentation, and collaboration across sectors can drastically mitigate the repercussions of past mistakes.

As the construction sector evolves, ensuring that fire safety remains paramount will be pivotal.

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