Windsor retirement village goes to extra lengths in fire safety
Due for completion in October 2018, the new urban retirement village in the heart of Windsor will have a multi-faceted, fire safety strategy to ensure resident welfare goes beyond legal requirements, giving greater protection for the 63 homes for the over 55s including 12 one-bedroom, 43 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom apartments, together with an additional 72-bed care home.
Fire prevention investment includes installing automatic sprinklers in all corridors, in addition to smoke and heat detectors in each apartment, all linked to a central fire detection centre with 24-hour managed attendance in all buildings.
Castle View Windsor has also been built with a more expensive concrete frame across its structure for greater fire resistance, while fire resistant cladding will meet all the latest compliance requirements. Further measures throughout the development will include an active escape policy with three main escape stairwells, and all apartments will also have generous balconies accessible to fire appliance ladders.
Underpinning the safety-first strategy is also a development-wide no smoking policy which was announced by Castle Retirement Living to not only create a more pleasant environment for residents, but also in response to advice issued by the London Fire Brigade last October; this recommended no smoking at all in care homes – in 2016 alone it identified 120 care homes in London has having caught fire accidentally.
With not only my parents due to be amongst our first residents, all safety is of a paramount importance to me,” said Robin Hughes, managing director of Castle Retirement Living and a local Windsorian.
“The recommendations from the Grenfell tragedy will take time and I want our building to lead the way in fire safety so we have taken the decision to put sprinklers in all corridors and common areas for our 65 apartments.
“By making the decision now – 13 months before we open, we assure all residents of the very best thinking in fire safety – even though we are a low rise building with every apartment having a balcony accessible by the fire brigade. I believe our investment in our fire safety strategy will make it one of the most protected retirement developments nationwide.
“Whilst our no smoking policy has not yet proven to be legally enforceable as homes and residential care homes are currently exempt from smoke-free legislation, we have found all our 14 reservees to date extremely supportive and committed to our initiative.”