Fire Risk Assessments

HMS were engaged by Social Landlord Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH) to deliver £1.2m essential fire protection upgrades to over 600 of the association’s residential blocks across Liverpool. HMS’ comprehensive approach is designed to restrict the spread of a possible fire through a combination of new fire curtains, fire access doors, fire-rated ladders and additional fire stopping works in loft spaces.

Context

LMH have refurbished all their communal spaces over the last ten years and are keen to ensure that all customers homes where possible exceed the latest fire protection guidance. Fire risk assessments have recently been undertaken by specialists across the city who have specified fire protection improvements to communal areas that will further combat the spread of fire or smoke.

LMH appointed HMS to carry out a suite of remedial works that will offer this additional level of fire protection, works included:

  • New fire curtains within the loft spaces; these compartmentalise each loft area and prevent rapid fire spreading into adjoining homes, offering 30 minutes of fire protection
  • Fire access doors in the loft spaces, providing access into the full-length loft space above each top floor flat, offering 60 minutes of fire protection
  • Fire stopping within the loft spaces, using fire bat and mastic, designed to contain fire spread for 120 minutes
  • New fire-rated ladders to access each loft hatch, offering 60 minutes protection

The Project

HMS faced a number of challenges during the project. The properties, spread across Liverpool, included many different architectural styles and internal layouts. No two blocks of flats were the same, so the teams had to adapt fire protection solutions on a property by property basis.

Particular issues were encountered at the oldest blocks, which also required the most extensive retro-fitting works to bring these homes up to today’s stringent fire safety standards

Despite these challenges, the team has completed works to 376 blocks in less than 9 months. Following positive feedback from the client for the initial £700,000 project, a further £500,000 will potentially be invested over the coming financial year to upgrade another 250 homes.