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Brent Housing Partnership (BHP)

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Brent Housing Partnership (BHP) Brent Housing Partnership is an arms length management company responsible for managing and maintaining 12,150 of Brent Council’s housing stock.  BHP also now owns and manages 300 of its own properties.  BHP has launched a life saving smoke test report which provides evidence of the benefits of passive fire protection in high rise housing blocks. They are committed to highlighting the results of their report to other housing providers to stress the necessity of having these measures in place in order to save lives.

The contents of the report detail the results of a ‘real life’ smoke testing exercise which was carried out by BHP’s Fire Safety Team in a council high rise block which was scheduled for demolition. These tests ensured that the fire safety measures being put in place across BHP managed properties can stand the effects of a real fire and can keep residents safe.

In the event of a fire, people are much more likely to be injured or killed by smoke than fire itself. These tests allowed BHP to analyse the potential spread of smoke within an 18-storey high rise building and to study the effectiveness of passive fire protection. 

Passive fire protection is the primary measure integrated within the constructional fabric of a building to provide inherent fire safety and protection by responding against flame, heat and smoke to maintain the fundamental requirements of building compartmentation, structural stability, fire separation and safe means of escape.

GERDA, specialists in compartmentation,  design and manufacture the fire doorsets for the fire safety refurbishment programme.

Client comment:

Gavin Pierson, Fire Safety Manager at BHP:

“Like many affordable housing providers, BHP are in the process of an extensive programme of upgrades to passive fire protection within our housing blocks. The results of these tests and the report are a fantastic reminder that the work we have done to continue to undertake upgrading passive fire protection really does create a safer environment for our customers and will save lives.”

The Project

BHP used an empty high rise blocks due to be demolished as part of the London Borough of Brent’s regeneration of the South Kilburn area.   An 18 -storey high rise tower block, the construction type is a bison block made of reinforced preformed concrete panels. The block consists of one hundred and sixty seven flats and two enclosed staircases.  The smoke testing exercise is part of BHP’s £8million fire safety programme across high rise blocks in Brent which includes major upgrades to passive fire protection.

The tests were carried out by BHP working closely with the Association for Specialist Fire Protection, BM TRADA, GERDA and Hillmore Fire Protection to ensure the integrity of the tests.

The Outcome

These tests were a unique opportunity for BHP and the fire safety industry as a whole to really demonstrate the benefits of passive fire protection. They proved that large volumes of smoke can spread rapidly within a very short time within unprotected areas. In contrast where passive fire protection is in place the smoke was fully contained and did not allow any movement which is essential to for life safety in a real life fire. The tests have also allowed BHP to highlight the importance of passive fire protection and the risks of not having these measures in place.

To view the test report under Articles click here