Fire safety partnership achieves national award

A partnership between West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service and Together Housing Group has won a prestigious national award.

The two organisations were commended for their joint work in communicating fire safety advice to residents in the government’s Regulatory Excellence Awards. The partnership achieved the social outcome award announced to an audience of regulatory professionals at the Safety & Standards Showcase in London.

For Together Housing, the partnership ensures that the safety of its residents in its 37,000 homes is given the highest priority. By gaining advice from West Yorkshire Fire Service, the housing association is able to adopt a single fire safety strategy across its operating areas in the north of England.

The partnership also provides many training opportunities for both organisations. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is able to use basements and stairwells in high rise blocks and estates due for demolition to replicate fire conditions in training activities.

Following the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, the two organisations worked together to produce new fire safety guidance materials for residents. These included a series of Sixty Seconds Safety Videos – 6 short videos designed to be watched online, advising residents on how they can stay safe and well in their homes.

Welcoming this award, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton said: “Receiving this prestigious award is a great endorsement of the work we’re doing with Together Housing to reach-out to their tenants.

“Residents need to know about what to do in the rare event of a fire to best help the Fire Service tackle it quickly and keep yourself and your family safe.

“Also, if people can be more vigilant about fire safety there’s less chance of the Fire Service being called to false alarms which takes up our time and resources unnecessarily.”

George Paterson, Director of Property Services for Together Housing Group, praised the work of the association’s staff: “The safety of our residents and communities is given the highest priority and colleagues across the organisation continue to work hard to ensure residents are safe in their homes.

“Together Housing has a long-term partnership with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and it’s been great to work with them on these really important videos as part of our ongoing work. This is partnership working at its best and we’re very proud to receive this major award.

“The risk from fire is something that is always there, but by taking simple steps, residents can drastically reduce the chance of a fire and keep themselves, their families and their communities safe.”

The two organisations are now working closely together to share the Sixty Seconds Safety Videos as widely as possible, through promotional activities, public engagement and in partnership with other housing and service providers across West Yorkshire and beyond.