Reducing fire risk for councils and housing associations in 2021
As director at Streetspace, I’ve worked with the metroSTOR brand since its inception in 2011. metroSTOR’s range of external storage solutions are designed to reduce fire risk for councils and housing associations in the properties they manage, by reducing the fire risk around waste and mobility scooters.
I’m really passionate about social housing. Social housing is essential for the social and economic wellbeing of the nation, as thousands of families depend on it for shelter and security. After decades of underinvestment, it is really important that we bring every home up to the current standards in terms of resident’s safety.
Since Grenfell, we’ve quite rightly heard a lot about high rise buildings and the need to address cladding safety issues, as well as ensuring that there is proper fire compartmentation, but there are also a number of smaller risks which apply to dwellings of all types which must be considered. One of these is waste and recycling. We produce a lot more waste, in fact probably three times as much waste as when these buildings were designed and constructed. This creates a lot of pressure on the existing storage facilities. We often find additional bins placed outside buildings to take the additional capacity. Unfortunately, these bins are a common target for arson attacks and there is a risk of fire spreading into the dwellings, endangering the lives of residents. Consequently, bins need to be stored properly, either at a safe distance from the building or within a structure that can withstand the fire for a certain period of time.
There is also an increasing number of people who use bikes or mobility scooters in order to maintain their independence or way of life. We often find that there is no allocated storage provision within social housing properties. Such items must not be stored in communal areas because they are a fire risk and can block escape exits. Additional storage must be provided along with charging facilities to reduce the fire risk.
Risk from bins, cycles and mobility scooters can be successfully addressed by implementing an outdoor storage solution such as metroSTOR. Our products have been uniquely developed for the social housing sector, installing around 10,000 units across the UK. Whilst the products themselves are renowned for their durability and adaptability for different situations, I believe it’s really the commitment of our team to understand the problems, find the right solution, to work hard on appraisal of different options and assist with stakeholder consultation. These are the things that I really feel set us apart!