If you haven’t already, you might be hearing from us soon about upgrading your front door (to your flat, not to the block). This won’t apply to everyone, but if this does apply to you, then you probably want to know “what, why and when”.
Is it the front door to my flat – or the front door to the block?
At the moment we’re looking at the front door to your flat. In some blocks, we plan to also upgrade the communal hallway and cupboard doors – but this won’t apply to every block.
Why does my door need to change?
When the Government talks about our response to COVID, they talk about “layers of protection” - where we need a combination of vaccine, Test and Trace and other measures. With fire safety, it’s a similar situation.
There are several different precautions that all work together – e.g. emergency lighting, building materials, escape routes, smoke alarms, and fire doors.
In recent years there has been a lot of research into fire safety equipment. There are now new standards and new fire doors on the market that perform better in tests .
Every individual front door plays a role in stopping a fire from spreading, which is why we want to upgrade to new doors in several blocks. This doesn’t mean that your current door isn’t safe - more that further advice and guidance is telling us that there is a safer option available now.
How do I know if this affects me?
If this applies to you, you should receive a letter from us (if you haven’t already). We're starting with:
- Grove House
- Emmanuel Lodge
Any doors we fitted last time did meet the regulations at that time. But a lot of new research has been done since then, and the standards have become more detailed.
In an ideal world, we wouldn’t replace a door that is only 5-6 years old. But we think that safety has to come first. As the new doors perform better, we believe upgrading them is the right thing to do.
Don’t worry, if you took part in the door replacement programme previously and paid for a new front door, you won’t need to pay again. B3Living will cover the cost.
As standard, you don’t need to pay if you’re a tenant.
If you’re a leaseholder – it depends.
If you haven’t replaced your front door through us previously, you will need to cover the cost.
(By this, we’re mainly referring to the previous project which ran between 2016-18 or in 2009-10, not to any replacements in earlier decades. At the time, not all homes took part in B3Living’s programme, and some leaseholders chose to replace their door separately.)
We’ll use a competitive procurement process to get the best value for money. We don’t ask customers to pay in full upfront and have very flexible payment arrangements – we’re happy to chat through the options nearer the time.
Don’t worry, if you paid for a new door via B3Living in the last five years, you don’t need to pay this time.
We’ll need to measure up, order the door of your choice, get it manufactured and fitted. Going through this process across all B3Living homes might take a couple of years to complete.
So you might not hear straight away, but we’ll stay in touch during this time.
The new doors will be FD30 doors, UKAS accredited, and they’ll be installed by UKAS accredited fitters.
But we’d like to make you aware now that your choice of doors may be more limited than you’ve had in the past. This is because of the safety features, but we appreciate that you want to make your home your own, so we’ll provide as many options as possible.
The bigger picture
So, in the next year or two, you’ll probably hear from us on a range of fire safety-related topics – for example, we’ll be sharing your building’s fire risk assessment, and we’re working on several investigation projects (for example, looking at the materials used in the external walls of some blocks, more info on this here[link]).
We’re working to stay up to date and make sure all our procedures are as robust as possible.