In June 2021, M-Four were appointed via the PfH Fire Safety Consultancy Framework to conduct Fire Safety Works for Viewpoint Housing Association (VHA). This appointment would allow VHA to carry out PAS79 Compliant Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs), FRA reviews, fire door audits and other fire safety consultancy aspects throughout their stock portfolio.  

M-Four’s work commenced with PAS79 FRAs and FRA Reviews across 42 properties of different age and configuration, including 4 care homes located in Edinburgh. 

Undertaking Fire Safety Risk Assessments and Reviews 

Our expert team conducted onsite PAS79 FRAs and FRA Reviews on behalf of VHA in 42 properties, including 4 care homes, to ensure that the duty holder meets their legal, moral and financial obligations under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006.   

M-Four’s FRAs are aimed at evaluating: 

  • the likelihood and risk from fire in each premises 
  • how fire and smoke will be prevented from spreading (by both passive and active elements within the buildings) 
  • how to ensure the safety of people in or around the premises if a fire does start (including maintenance, training and drills) 

As part of the PAS79 FRA and Reviews, we looked at the compliance of both passive and active fire protection, including, but not limited to: 

Passive Fire Protection: 

  • Fire doors 
  • Compartmentation breaches 
  • Layouts 
  • Protected Fire Exit Routes 

Active Fire Systems: 

  • Fire/Smoke/Heat Detection systems 
  • Sprinkler systems  
  • Ventilation systems 
  • Fire shutters 

Creating a Fire Action Plan  

Taking the information gathered in the PAS79 FRAs and Reviews, M-Four identified all required work and processes in a bespoke Fire Action Plan for each building. This Action Plan would allow VHA to plan appropriately within their overall investment programme for the works to be completed. 

Additionally, due to the vulnerable nature of some of VHA’s residents, our team created individual PEEPs (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan) for each resident. The PEEPs identified specific needs for residents such as sight/hearing impairment or mobility limitations which would ensure the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are fully informed in the event of an evacuation. 

Our First-Class Tenant Engagement Strategy 

In order to engage with clients and tenants, and make them feel comfortable with seeing our team around their homes, we developed an extensive “What to Expect Guide”. This explained everything they needed to know about the works being completed, ensuring they felt supported and included in the process. It was most important that we engaged with onsite care and maintenance staff, and “took them on the journey with us” during these FRAs, so they understood the importance of this assessment and the work which would be required, if it be either physical (building upgrades/improvements) or training based. M-Four see this aspect as critical to the success of our work and ultimately the ingoing safety of residents in this type of facility. 

Our award-winning associate director, Dave Falla says: 

“We are delighted to be working with Viewpoint Housing Association to develop their comprehensive fire safety strategy. We are proud to be managing this project, which ensures fire safety and compliance in social housing” 

Want to know more? 

For more information on our Fire Safety Consultancy Services, take a look at our ‘Fire Safety’ page or contact our experts: improvefiresafety@m-four.org