Fire safety statement

STATEMENT FROM ABODUS (BUILDING MANAGERS) ON BEHALF OF PORTLAND GREEN STUDENT VILLAGE

At Portland Green Student Village (PGSV), the safety of our residents and properties is a key priority. In light of recent events, we have reviewed the construction and design of our buildings as well as operational policies, to ensure that we meet and exceed required standards.

At PGSV, all our buildings are predominantly finished in brick and render; there is very little external cladding. Where used, the cladding is fire retardant and meets building regulations. This was independently verified by  a qualified building controller during the construction of PGSV.

For greater clarity, the external cladding used comprises an inner leaf of insulated secondary steel frame system with 12mm cementitious board giving the required fire rating. The cladding panels used for the outer leaf and the insulation material behind cladding panels meet the Class 0 requirements. That means that when ignited, the fire will not spread along the surface.

PGSV has one building just over 18m which has additional fire-safety provisions. The building can be serviced by fire service ladders and hoses. It also has a passenger lift that functions as a fire lift for use by the fire brigade and is backed up via an independent electric generator in the event of a power failure, in addition to other fire safety mechanisms.

We work with Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service to ensure that our buildings, policies and procedures not only comply with existing regulations but exceed them. This is supported by a robust fire risk assessment regime carried out in each building using experienced accredited fire risk assessors working with the National Security Inspectorate. Additionally, our risk assessments and policies are reviewed annually by our clients’ inspectorial bodies, The Accreditation Network UK (www.anuk.org), as well as the Tyne and Wear Fire Service. Reviews have been completed within the last six months.

All of our properties fully comply with building regulations and are equipped with fire safety systems that match the individual requirements of each building. This includes:

  • L1 automatic fire detection and alarm system that complies to BS 5839-1 - the highest category of fire detection, paying particular attention to the risk of sleeping occupants in that it specifies minimum decibel levels for sounders placed near to bedheads locations.
  • Separate fire compartments with separate escape routes.
  • Buildings are sub-divided to protect escape routes and isolate areas of special risk including switch rooms, sub-stations and refuge rooms.
  • All penetrations are fire stopped e.g. self-closing fire doors in all flats and stairwells.
  • All stair cores have an automatically activated smoke ventilation system.
  • Each stair core contains a dry riser outlet at each floor for firefighting use with fire hydrants being located within 90 metres of the dry riser inlet.
  • The structural steel frame of the buildings are fire protected and are inspected by independent qualified building controllers during construction to ensure that the builder has complied to building regulations.
  • Our trained staff are alerted immediately to undertake a fire investigation at the point of activation and where necessary, co-ordinate evacuation.  We have staff on site at PGSV 24/7 throughout the year.
     

In addition to the physical fire safety measures we have in place, our staff are trained to undertake proactive and reactive fire safety management, which includes building inspections, routine fire alarm testing, evacuations for residents. Our staff ensure that all our building systems are tested on a weekly basis and in particular the following:

  • Fire alarms
  • Smoke vents
  • Fire doors
  • Escape routes are clear
  • Emergency lighting
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Break glass alarms
     

In addition to our weekly tests and checks, there are at least two unannounced alarms and full evacuations conducted annually to ensure that all residents know what to do in the case of an actual event. Fire escape route information for our residents is available in each flat and on each landing. Detailed information of fire safety forms part of our Residents induction process, and further information is provided in the Students Handbook.

We encourage all residents to familiarise themselves with actions to take when fire occurs and the issues that can cause fires. Prevention is a core part of our Fire Strategy and requires that the entire PGSV community work together. 

Please look at the following information from Tyne & Wear Fire services bespoke guide for student accommodation:

http://www.twfire.gov.uk/community-safety/prevention/education/students/?tabContainer_1247984_tab=2#.WVTzLWjys2w

If you have any questions about fire safety at PGSV, please approach the front desk team or contact them at: info@pgsv.co.uk
 
30th June 2017