Carlex received the following email from a reader (name withheld), and Peverel’s explanation. It appears the site requires re-wiring:
My mother has recently bought retirement flat in Homepine House, Folkestone. The managing agents, Peverel, have just sent out a Notice to All Residents setting out their intention to install fire alarms in every flat, 136 in all, despite the fact that the local fire brigade said that the existing system which is only 4 years old is adequate. The building was built around 20 years ago and all the flats are constructed of concrete.
The estimates for the work from contractors including Cirrus Communication which are part of the Peverel Group range from £58,000 to £70,000 plus their fee for overseeing of £5,690.39 inc vat.
The proposal was originally raised in November 2012 and there was a residents meeting at that time and the opinion stated by the local fire brigade was that it was not necessary as the existing system was perfectly adequate and that he was going to issue a report to Peverel stating this.
Many of the residents are over 80 and really do not need this disruption and additional financial burden. I should be most grateful if you could give us some idea of what we need to do next. I understand that the work could only be forced on the leaseholders if there had been a ‘strong recommendation’ from either the Block Policy Insurers’ Surveyor or the local fire brigade particularly as the existing system is only 4 years old which has not happened.
To be attributed to a Peverel Retirement spokesperson
An upgrade of the fire system is due at Homepine House to ensure the development complies with current fire safety regulations. This involves replacing allelectrical wiring throughout the development as well as the installation of new warden-call linked smoke detectors in every apartment.
An independent tendering process for the upgrade has been carried out with submissions made by three companies.
We work closely with the fire service who have agreed that the work is necessary to comply with fire regulations. We will shortly discuss the work required and tenders received at a meeting with all customers.