Jigsaw Group takes a proactive approach to fire safety

Jigsaw Homes (part of the Jigsaw Group) is one of the largest housing association groups within England, providing more than 34,000 homes across the North West and East Midlands. Chute Fire Certification UK has inspected, serviced and repaired refuse chutes in several of Jigsaw Homes’ tower blocks, and are now focussing on the hopper door replacement on each floor.

Jigsaw Group’s Butler Court. Photo credit Gene Hunt

Ron Devine, Electrical & Service Contracts Manager, Jigsaw Group has worked with Avene Furness, Director of Chute Fire Certification UK for the last 12 months in order to ensure that FRA regulations are adhered to in their properties.  “Previously, we repaired the chute fire plates when they were broken. However, the FRA recommendations require us to have a more structured and proactive approach, and this is what Chute Fire Certification UK has been able to introduce to Jigsaw Homes. We now have all the relevant paperwork giving evidence of the chute’s bi-annual certification to ensure compliance. But what really adds value is the report that they provide. Before we started working with Chute Fire Certification UK, we didn’t have a clear picture of what the contractor had done. Now we have written and photographic evidence, and you can really tell from the before and after photos exactly what they have done” summarised Devine.

One of the findings that Furness and her team bought to Devine’s notice was the fusible links in some of the fire plates that had been installed when the building property was built. These play a vital role in passive fire protection, and need to be inspected, tested and replaced regularly, especially in the environment of a bin room. After working with Chute Fire Certification UK, Devine has developed a deep understanding of all the elements required to be in place to ensure that any fire is contained until the emergency services arrive. They are now working on a programme to ensure that the hopper doors inside the tower block provide the same level of protection as the E120 Chute Fire Safe Protection System installed by Chute Fire Certification UK at the bottom of the chute. “Avene is extremely passionate about chutes and won’t let anything slip through the net.  If they say they’ll be there, they are there. We’ve set up a maintenance agreement to make sure we provide the highest level of passive fire safety for all the refuse chutes throughout our estate, and ultimately, our residents” Devine concludes.

Furness adds “When we first presented Jigsaw Homes with our Chute Inspection Reports they were quick to take action and chute refurbishment works began immediately. It is clear that the safety of their residents is of paramount importance. I’m not the only member of Chute Fire Certification UK to be passionate about chutes, our passion is what drives myself and my dedicated team to provide the very best in installation and service every day.”