Is Rendall & Rittner ignoring fire safety concerns

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 by Chair of MHRA
Fire Safety or lack of it!!

Unfortunately, there is no Zero Star Rating
Having spoken with two ex senior fire officers, who now work for the Metropolitan Police and inspect their buildings. They have given me the following advice and also, they seem to have knowledge with regard the Grenfell Enquiry and residential building fire control likely to be passed back to the Fire Service instead of the local authority.

The LFB carried out a safety inspection requested by myself. This was carried out in January 2020 and yet, very little has been done to resolve the issues brought up by the LFB.

The following is an excerpt from an email sent to me by LBH&F

Mallard House:

The London Fire Brigade served an Informal Notice on 1 April 2020 in regard to:

Flat Front Doors
Emergency Lighting
Fire Alarm System

Messages have been left for Mel Green, Fire Safety Manger at Peabody to contact the London Fire Brigade to respond and include London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham in all communication.

Fire safety in communal areas of blocks of flats is covered by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The London Fire Brigade have relevant enforcement powers regarding means of escape and emergency lighting in communal staircases and areas.”

The response from Mel Green of Peabody to me as well as the Peabody property manager for Mallard House (who have done pretty much nothing after they had the doors inspected, nothing done to remedy the issues raised)

“ Hi Both
It is a requirement of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) that all occupiers share fire safety information including FRAs. The RRO places a duty on the responsible persons and others with related duties to take all reasonable steps to co-ordinate the measures they take to comply with the requirements under the Order. There appears to be little or no co-ordination between Peabody, A2D and Rendall and Rittner to form coherent, efficient or effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures.

We need to carry out periodic meetings between Peabody, A2D and Rendall and Rittner management for the discussion of fire safety; to review planning, organisation, control, monitoring and preventive and protective measures. Please ensure this is undertaken and ensure records are maintained.

If you need any further assistance, please let me know.

Kind regards

Mel Green | Fire Safety Manager
Fire Safety Team – Building Safety
Technical Compliance & Quality, Asset Compliance | Peabody”

As well as the defects being fixed, the issues below now desperately need addressed:-

Anyway, the points they raised to myself are as follows
We would like a copy of the Fire Risk Assessment and latest Fire Audit.
There are a large number of doors to individual gaps which are not acceptable and are also breaching the "Fire Containment", therefore these doors are Not Compliant (pencil fits through gap, not compliant). Grenfell had the same issue of gaps in doors making them non compliant.
The roof door can be used as a Fire Escape as there is adequate fencing to the rear and to the front a wall. Once on the roof, you then have access to the other three residential blocks without the need to climb walls or drop downs, it is completely flat.
They also stated that at least one fire alarm sounder could be placed in the entrance hallway. If the right one is purchased, decibel level, it will be heard on all floors in a 7 storey building
The rule regarding stay put may be changing for certain types of building to Get Out Immediately, but this is not official as yet.
Could I therefore request the information in part 1 and from your previous correspondence, you really need to take a look at the roof for yourself. You have stated on numerous occasions that there is no fencing. There is as I said, fencing all round the rear of "J Block" and a wall to the front as well as clear access to other buildings in the event of a fire pithing Mallard House and the stairwell being compromised. The issue of the doors, I will be taking that up with one of St Georges Managing Directors when I meet with him later this month. I will also be bringing up our concerns and that R&R's knowledge of the roof layout is non existent, especially for fire purposes.

For something so important, it seems very few apart from residents and those in the know, LFB are willing to do anything. We get the same push back from R&R and as for Peabody, they are an absolute disgrace. An organisation who point blank refuse to communicate in any way with their residents and who refuse to deal with the residents association, quoting lie after lie in relation to the requirements to set up a RA. These are serious issues for which residents have a right to know that they and their families/friends whilst in the building are safe. Simple question, should there be a need to evacuate residents from the building due to fire, what is the plan for LFB to access the rear of Mallard House? Why is this such a difficult question for which management agents and HA’s simply refuse to answer this.

Rendall & Rittner | Submit Customer Service Reviews 

Rendall & Rittner has not responded for more than 4 months on the following Fire safety issues (Mallard House SW6) 

Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2020 13:18:26
Hello Michael,

Mallard House association is looking for a solution because, in a perfect world, 80 people wouldn’t have died in the Grenfell tragedy and I am sure regulations was there in place.

Your following statements are incorrect please help me understand why you made incorrect statements.

(1)Your fire safety regulation suggestion “The travel distance from any part of the flat to the protected staircase should be limited to 9m in line with the building regs.” is incorrect.
There are many flats in Mhouse where many parts of the flat to the protected staircase is more than even 10 meters or even 12 meters.

(2) You have mentioned, “the hatch takes you up to the unsafe rooftop area, with no bannisters/boundaries by the edge of the property”.
Again your statement is incorrect because the Mhouse roof has a parapet wall almost 1.4 meters high.

Your views on your own incorrect statements, please.

(3)Please help us understand, which fire safety regulation states that the roof can’t be used for fire escape if the staircase is blocked with the fire and it is three sides closed.

(4) Please help us understand if there is a fire on the staircase on the lower floor how the upper floor MH residents can be rescued considering your statement
that roof can’t be used for escape and the rear side of the building can’t be accessed by the fire brigade.

No response as of now 11th February from Rendall and Rittner.


Background of above email complaint:
Sent: 09 October 2020 16:31

Fire Safety:
Michael, don’t you think: The stay put policy or Leave policy or Assembly point will only matter when one is able to escape the building in the first place?

I repeat again,

(1)Our building is CLOSED from 3 sides.(2)It DOESN’T have a separate fire escape door.(3)Fire Brigade CAN’T reach backside Flats.

The roof door can be opened in addition to existing fire safety measures.

(a) Please make me understand or your fire safety expert shall explain
Why our roof door should be closed?
(b) When other buildings in Imperial Wharf can have a rooftop garden,
why Mallard House can’t have the roof open for its residents?
(c) Does open roof door increases fire risk or any other risk and if yes, how?

I would appreciate clear answers to the above queries, please.

Kind regards

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