Saturday, May 28, 2022

Tenant shocked over ‘out of date’ smoke alarms in his flat


The Kirklees Council tenant contacted the authority after one of his smoke alarms went off for no obvious reason in his flat in Paddock, Huddersfield

A council tenant who complained about a faulty smoke alarm has claimed it should have been replaced years ago.

The Kirklees Council tenant contacted the authority after one of his smoke alarms went off for no obvious reason in his flat at low-rise Granby Flats in Paddock, Huddersfield. The tenant, who did not want to be named, said a council worker who inspected it appeared shocked to see the alarm had a sticker saying ‘replace alarm before 2018’.

He said that, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in 2017, he assumed fire safety in flats would be ‘vitally important’.

He said the council worker replaced two ‘expired’ smoke alarms. The tenant has since complained to Kirklees and says he is still waiting for an apology. He wants to know if other flats have old alarms and if anything has been done about it.

He says he has since spoken to a council officer who suggested the smoke alarms were ‘good for up to 14 years.’ He claimed the flats are ‘neglected’ and Kirklees has not been very responsive to the issues he raised.

I am angry at the moment, he added. I have been here six years. It (Granby Flats) used to be alright.

He said: Kirklees is not responsive, taking ages to get back in touch. I am a vulnerable tenant. These things need a light shining on them.

A Kirklees Council spokesperson said: Tenant safety is our top priority which is why a £90 million scheme of fire safety improvements is currently underway across all our housing stock.

Granby Flats is among the next phase of low-rise buildings to be surveyed by technical specialists as part of that plan, to further improve fire safety measures, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said: We responded to (this tenant’s) concerns about his smoke alarm and new smoke detectors were fitted at his property on May 3. His existing smoke alarms were still in perfect working order. The date label is an advisory notice relating to the lifespan of the battery. It has a 10-year battery back-up built in and would have notified the tenant by beeping if it was about to expire.

The safety of the tenant was not compromised but to reassure (the tenant), new detectors were installed, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said: Granby flats is a six-storey building and has an additional whole building fire alarm detection system. This central monitoring system would pick up any fires anywhere in the building and is used to trigger full building evacuations.


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