West Yorkshire council homes to get £21million fire safety improvements


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Councillors of Kirklees in England’s West Yorkshire district are being asked to approve works that will upgrade fire safety measures across all council-owned low-rise flats.

A £21million investment programme will be proposed at the council’s cabinet meeting, on April 5. This will see all 865 low-rise blocks across Kirklees benefit from improved fire protection measures over the next two years.  

The work will involve six-storey blocks, as well as retirement living schemes and low-rise buildings, and comes as work is already underway upgrading the council’s high-rise blocks including flats at Buxton House, Harold Wilson Court and Berry Brow.

Work will start in May 2022 when approved contractors Fortem Solutions Limited will start the process of independently surveying every low-rise block in Kirklees to identify and carry out the fire safety works needed.

These surveys will inform what works are necessary on a per building basis and are likely to include:

  • Replacing fire doors to homes and communal areas
  • Compartmentation
  • Upgrading smoke and heat alarms
  • Emergency lighting
  • New fire signage. 

Both tenants and leaseholders have been informed of the programme of works planned.

David Shepherd, Strategic Director of Growth and Regeneration, said: “Since transfer from KNH, the council has focused on and prioritised investment to ensure our tenants are safe in their homes. This is part of that on-going commitment to keeping our tenants in low rise buildings as safe as possible.

“The investment will see all 865 low-rise buildings individually surveyed and safety upgrades made to the highest standard to further ensure the safety of all our tenants and leaseholders in the event of a fire.”

These works are part of the £90 million improvements programme currently being rolled out across social housing in Kirklees. The early part of the programme focused on high rise flats and has already seen major fire safety improvements completed at Buxton House in Huddersfield town centre.

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