STAR Housing Look to Quidvis for Fire Risk Assessments
November 17, 2022
Introduction to STAR Housing
Shropshire Towns & Rural Housing, ‘STAR’ Housing for short, is an Arm’s Length Management Organisation (or ALMO). STAR Housing manages over 4100 properties on behalf of Shropshire Council. They have a management agreement with Shropshire Council to manage the homes, tenancies and neighbourhoods of the Council houses, flats, bungalows, community rooms and garages in the Oswestry and Bridgnorth area. STAR’s role includes collecting rent, ordering repairs, and making improvements to all housing.
STAR Housing was looking for a fire safety contractor to conduct thorough, evidence-based fire risk assessments (FRA) on their 75 properties. The majority of these were Type-1 assessments on residential homes, however non-intrusive fire risk assessments were also required for their community facilities and head office. The aim was to ensure that the fire safety measures in place on STAR Housing properties were functioning optimally and thus improved the fire safety conditions for colleagues and residents.
KST group company, Quidvis provided STAR Housing with a schedule for fire risk assessments to be completed and adhered to. One assessor completed all of the assessments for continuity and consistency.
The implementation process was smooth and went ahead without incident. The entire project took place over 6 weeks as the need for fire risk assessments was urgent.
STAR Housing received reports from our QuidvisRisk management reporting system, both weekly and individually, as and when assessments were completed, ensuring they were kept informed continuously. The designated Contract Manager attended site regularly to assess the quality of work being carried out, and communicate with the STAR estate managers.
In order to use the QuidvisRisk management reporting system effectively, Quidvis ensured STAR Housing personnel were competently trained. We chose to train Carrie Owen and then make her a ‘super-user’ which gave her admin privileges for the system. Carrie was then able to cascade her training down to the STAR Housing team as a whole and maintain control over the system internally.
From the Client’s Perspective
“We recognise that we work in a challenging economic environment that makes us more determined to ensure our money and people are used in the best possible way.
“In the past we have used in-house and external providers to carry out FRAs. We were ready to continue to use our existing provider until I attended a Fire Safety event. I approached the Quidvis booth towards the end of my long day at the show. At the time, I just wanted to seek some advice on external fire risk assessors. From the moment I sat down to talk about the challenges we face regarding fire safety in social housing, I was immediately impressed by the welcome and professionalism I encountered. I was shown what a client would expect when an FRA is carried out and how, as the client, we can view the reports on the QuidvisRisk portal.
“I was fully engaged with the innovation and how user-friendly the portal is, not only to view but to use. To be able to view the risk rating, number of risks and level of risks within a building all from one page was impressive. Not only that, but you can also view how many risks have been resolved or are still outstanding. The portal also has the option to allocate the risk raised to the appropriate department for action. You can then close the risk off once this has been resolved and it will automatically update the FRA.
“The portal allows you to give access to other users. They can view and update tasks accordingly. This allows the relevant person to carry out the correct task and update it when complete.
“In previous years, the FRA reports process has been so time consuming and laborious. From being on site to waiting for the reports to be written and received. Then reviewing the lengthy reports one by one to ensure the correct department is dealing with the risks. Time is something we are all short of and I was impressed at how this system could potentially speed up all these processes.
Was this Too Good to be True!?
“Could this portal and the Quidvis service save us time and money? Could we really have all the relevant documentation in one place for the relevant person to access?
“Well, I am so pleased to say YES! We made the right decision when we asked Quidvis to carry out all of our fire risk assessments and fire door surveys.
“Everything from the initial engagement with Quidvis at the Fire Safety show to meeting the Fire Risk assessor on site, to receiving all the reports back in the SLA timeframe was second to none. The communication throughout the whole process has been so easy and the working relationship does not stop there”.
“We now have one central system where we can view reports, add relevant building certificates and policies. Colleagues can access this incredibly user-friendly system and navigate with ease. I have been informed by several colleagues how easy the portal is to use. Even those less tech savvy have been more than impressed.” Carrie Owen, Fire Safety Officer – Shropshire Towns & Rural Housing