Thirteen’s building safety team recognised in national competition

Thirteen’s building safety team have been recognised for their work, in a national housing competition.

Building Safety Team

20 Dec 2021

In 2019 Inside Housing launched a campaign with fire safety specialist Aico to promote best practice in resident safety and discover how organisations have worked with residents to raise awareness of safety issues. 

Today, Thirteen has been named one of this years’ winners and its building safety resident engagement campaign has been showcased in Inside Housing. 

The Hackitt Report made it clear that it is vital for residents to have a strong voice and ability to provide independent input into landlords’ safety policies.

Last month building safety operations manager Stephanie Kelley took part in a panel Q&A session at Homes UK to highlight Thirteen’s good practice.

Stephanie said: “The safety of our customers is our priority. This is a fantastic achievement for the team. We’re delighted to be recognised, but this is a great opportunity to share good practice and learn how we can improve further.

“Communicating building and safety messages is such an important part of our work, but most importantly, working in partnership with our residents and involved customers. 

“So, in response to the Hackitt Report and subsequent recommendations, we planned a programme of customer engagement, tailoring what messages we deliver and how we will do this for customers, who live in a range of homes, including high-rise and sheltered accommodation.

“The pandemic brought its own challenges, but it made us think more creatively and look at what we could do safely. Ensuring that messaging was accessible, a range of communication methods were used, including digital communication such as notice boards in high-rise and social media, socially distanced drop-in sessions, door knocks, leaflet drops, text messaging and printed media.

“But, we also recognise that educating colleagues across the whole organisation is important to reiterate building safety messages at any point that colleagues come into contact with customers. That’s why we share key messages with colleagues through internal communications, such as the intranet and by the building safety team at team meetings. 

“We’ve also established a Building Safety Involved Customers Working Group and worked with them on every element of the campaign, addressing a range of fire and building safety issues; from fire door safety, why it’s important to keep communal areas clear, kitchen safety to electric safety.

“Our week of engagement throughout home safety week was a real success for us, where we worked with partner organisations and our involved customers. We launched our home safety handy card too. Planning the campaign was based on data, such as where we’d seen an increase in false fire alarm activations. This intelligence informed our week of action.

“We also introduced our bespoke calling card – with a simple but clear message – let’s keep it clear. This has had a big impact too and has helped us streamline how fire risks are reported.

“We’re now busy planning next year’s engagement calendar and working with our involved customers to devise a ‘feeling of safety questionnaire’ which will help inform any future campaigns or educational activities.”

Executive director of assets Paul Jenkins added: “This recognition is testament to the dedication and commitment our building safety team demonstrate to our customers.

“Over recent years the size, expertise and competency of the team has grown and we’re fortunate to have this team working together to help keep communities and buildings safe.”