Homelessness London Jan 2023

CRASH introduces first fire safety workshop for homelessness charities thanks to Corporate Patron AECOM

In recent years, fire legislation in the UK has been updated. These new standards impact the homelessness charities CRASH supports; raising questions around the legal requirements for houses of multiple occupancy, the need for a designated responsible person in a building, and steps to be taken to create an environment that can withstand, or limit, the spread of fire.

How we helped

CRASH reached out to Corporate Patron AECOM to collaborate on a fire safety workshop; an opportunity for members of homelessness charities Kairos Community Trust and Emmaus UK to learn from experts in fire safety. The group also compared and discussed with each other different approaches to managing fire risks. AECOM hosted the workshop at their London office, with attendees from nine locations across the UK.

CRASH has a long-standing relationship with charities Kairos Community Trust and Emmaus UK, having supported both with construction and refurbishment projects over the years. Kairos Community Trust has 182 beds in their move-on houses across London, while Emmaus UK supports over 850 formerly homeless people across their 30 communities. As properties with multiple occupancy, these buildings must have fire safety measures and strategies in place to ensure the welfare of residents.

Introducing the workshop

AECOM’s fire safety engineers Trevor Williams and Allen Mead presented on the risks associated with houses of multiple occupancy; offering guidance on new legislation and the steps necessary to meet these standards. With an interactive Q&A session, the presenters addressed individuals concerns and offered solutions to real problems; equipping attendees with the knowledge and confidence to apply this to their own communities.

Topics covered:

  • Understanding and ensuring a ‘successful fire outcome’
  • Common deficiencies in buildings (faulty fire doors, faulty detection systems, evacuation signage)
  • Regulations and Building Safety Act 2022 – what it means and how to comply
  • Identifying and training the ‘responsible person’ in a team
  • Fire evacuation strategy
  • Fire risk assessments

The outcome

By bringing together both Kairos Community Trust and Emmaus UK, different approaches to managing fire risks were shared, individual and relevant to shelters and communities for people who have been homeless and in need of support.

CRASH Corporate Patron AECOM used their volunteering hours and professional expertise to create and run this workshop, in doing so, they equipped homelessness charities with the information and skills to develop the fire safety strategy of their buildings. Improving the fire safety of buildings helps keep the people that use them safe, leaving a lasting impact in these communities for years to come.

 

“Fire engineers Allen Mead and Trevor Williams developed and designed the workshop using their Social Value Hours which AECOM offer to all employees. Donating professional skills creates maximum impact and value for the beneficiaries as well as an opportunity to challenge thinking and broaden societal awareness for the volunteers.”

Carmen Harris

Social Value Manager at AECOM

“We accepted the challenge to use our skills and knowledge to develop this inaugural workshop. It required us to think more broadly about the issues faced by hostel managers tasked with ensuring the safety of their clients. The workshop provided a fantastic interactive session which we really enjoyed and learned a lot from. We look forward to developing this further over the coming year.”

Allen Mead and Trevor Williams

Fire Engineers at AECOM

“This was an interesting and really informative workshop. It was especially helpful to be able to combine advice from the experts with a range of views and experiences from the other charities around the table. We came away with some practical tips for things to change to make our community a safer place, and to keep it that way.”

Duncan Lewis

Chief Executive at Emmaus Hertfordshire

“CRASH highlighted a need for more information to be shared with homelessness charities around fire safety in houses of multiple occupancy. We were delighted that our Corporate Patron, AECOM were able to offer the expertise of two Fire Engineers. The workshop was a huge success, with attendees refreshing their knowledge of fire safety. No ask was too much for the AECOM team who went above and beyond to make sure the workshop was a success, including organising lunch for the attendees! I am so glad that all the homelessness organisations who attended went away feeling informed.”

Niamh McCann

Projects Manager at CRASH Charity

“Fire engineers Allen Mead and Trevor Williams developed and designed the workshop using their Social Value Hours which AECOM offer to all employees. Donating professional skills creates maximum impact and value for the beneficiaries as well as an opportunity to challenge thinking and broaden societal awareness for the volunteers.”

Carmen Harris

Social Value Manager at AECOM

“We accepted the challenge to use our skills and knowledge to develop this inaugural workshop. It required us to think more broadly about the issues faced by hostel managers tasked with ensuring the safety of their clients. The workshop provided a fantastic interactive session which we really enjoyed and learned a lot from. We look forward to developing this further over the coming year.”

Allen Mead and Trevor Williams

Fire Engineers at AECOM

“This was an interesting and really informative workshop. It was especially helpful to be able to combine advice from the experts with a range of views and experiences from the other charities around the table. We came away with some practical tips for things to change to make our community a safer place, and to keep it that way.”

Duncan Lewis

Chief Executive at Emmaus Hertfordshire

“CRASH highlighted a need for more information to be shared with homelessness charities around fire safety in houses of multiple occupancy. We were delighted that our Corporate Patron, AECOM were able to offer the expertise of two Fire Engineers. The workshop was a huge success, with attendees refreshing their knowledge of fire safety. No ask was too much for the AECOM team who went above and beyond to make sure the workshop was a success, including organising lunch for the attendees! I am so glad that all the homelessness organisations who attended went away feeling informed.”

Niamh McCann

Projects Manager at CRASH Charity

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