Frequently Asked Questions

Showfields frequently asked questions

By July 7, 2020 No Comments

Please see below some frequently asked questions regarding the installation of the fire detection systems which are going in eight blocks on the Showfields Estate

Why do I need a fire detection system?

Town & Country Housing Group constantly reviews the latest guidance and advice on fire safety and security in the homes it provides. Following a review of current arrangements at properties on the Showfields Estate, it was decided to install a fire detection system for the safety and well-being of tenants and leaseholders.

Why have you not given me more notice?

Our engineers at Amalgamated Fire & Security Ltd have been kept busy during the Covid-19 outbreak. When they informed us they had time to work on the Showfields Estate we immediately booked them in. We apologise that you have not been given more notice.

How long will it take?

We will work on one block at a time and carry out installation in the communal areas first. This will take several weeks per block. We will need approximately half a day in each flat/maisonette for the internal fittings.

How disruptive will this be?

The engineers will work swiftly and aim to minimise disruption to you and to your routine.

Who will be installing the fire detection systems?

Amalgamated Ltd will be installing the fire detection systems.

They have over 50 years’ experience in the fire and security industry, offering a wide array of services including design, maintenance, installation and commissioning of all related systems.

They are third party accredited by SSAIB in both fire and security disciplines, and are assessed annually on our quality of work. They were also awarded ECA contractor of the year in 2016.

They have been servicing and maintaining all our fire alarm, emergency lighting and AOV systems for almost 3 years and have a good working knowledge of all sites, allowing us to pro-actively complete any work in a safe and efficient manner.

What are you installing in my flat?

We will be installing an alarm which will need to be wired into your home. It will look very similar to this:

The cables will have a plastic cover like this:

Our contractors will make good any areas that we need to disturb

Where will it go and how intrusive will it be?

If you live in a maisonette, there will be one alarm in the lower floor living room and both upper floor bedrooms.

If you live in a flat, there will be one alarm in the living room and one in each bedroom.

All alarms will be fitted to the ceiling.

Do I need to clear the area in advance?

Possibly. The engineers will need to run cables to each alarm so they may need to move things. They will talk to you in more detail about this when they call you to make the appointment.

Do I need to be at home while they are here?

Yes, someone over the age of 18 will need to stay at home until the engineer has finished.

I work nights, so can you work around my sleep routine?

Yes. You will receive a call in advance to arrange a suitable time for the engineer to carry out the work. We will try at all times to make allowances for your precise needs.

I do not like strangers coming into my home. What are you doing about my security?

The company we use is a trusted partner. We are confident that your home is safe and secure while they are in your home.

All Amalgamated engineers will have identity cards, so please make sure you ask to see them before you let anyone in.

If you are in any doubt as to whether you should let someone into your home, then politely ask the person to wait outside, close your door and call us on 01892 501480 to check. Do not call the number on their ID card.

I am very anxious about the spread of Covid-19. How do I know I will be safe?

Our suppliers are up to speed on the latest Government guidance on Covid-19 and the use of Personal Protective Equipment to protect you and themselves. There is a video which explains what you can expect when one of our suppliers is working in your home during Covid-19.

How do I activate my new fire detection system?

You will not be required to do anything. It is a stand-alone unit and will be maintained remotely by us. We politely request that you do not to touch the equipment after installation.

Do I have to maintain it or check it is working?

No. Please see the answer above.

What happens if it goes off?

We are not going to switch the alarm on until it’s installed in all of the block. Before it’s switched on we will contact you to let you how it will all work, and what you will need to do if there is a fire.

Please see below some frequently asked questions regarding the asbestos that may be contained within your ceiling

I’ve read that asbestos particles can get into your lungs and cause severe internal damage

Our knowledge and understanding of asbestos has increased dramatically over the last 10 years. We always work to the guidelines set out by the Health & Safety executive so that we can work safely.

Why did you not tell me in advance that there was asbestos in my ceiling ?

Asbestos was widely used in buildings until its health risks became clear. It was banned in 1999, but homes built before this date may contain asbestos. Asbestos-containing materials are not a risk if they are in good condition and left undisturbed.

We knew that the word “asbestos” might cause unnecessary stress and concern to our tenants, which is why we felt it was best not to mention this in advance. All safety precautions have been taken and Government guidance has been followed 100%.

But your engineers are drilling holes in my ceiling and will disturb the asbestos. This is dangerous.

In order for us to fit the new fire alarm system, it does require us to drill holes in your ceiling. We have employed a specialist contractor to this, and they will be following strict HSE guidelines. If you wish to read about these guidelines, please visit https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/guidance/a26.pdf which explains the procedure. The contractors will  ensure all particles are removed and your ceiling is left in a safe condition.

The knowledge that there is asbestos in my ceiling scares me. I want to be moved to a safer flat.

Asbestos in your flat should not cause you any concern. The important thing to remember is that as long as the asbestos is in a good condition, it does not pose a risk. We have a register of all flats containing asbestos and we keep it under review.

I want make some home improvement to my home, but am now worried about asbestos. What should I do?

As per your tenancy agreement and to ensure your safety, you must always have our written permission before you carry out any alterations or improvements to your home, as you might disturb materials that contain asbestos. Please contact us to discuss.

I drilled into my ceiling last year to fix a light fitting. Am I in danger?

The safest solution is for one of our specialist asbestos engineers to come round and inspect the work in your flat. Please contact us and we will fix a date to carry out an inspection.