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Waking watch replacement fund opens

Words: Laura Edgar
Cladding / Shutterstock_2108374067

The government has opened for applications a £27 million fund to install fire alarms in all buildings where a Waking Watch is in place.

The installation of fire alarm systems in buildings of all heights will take place, rather than just being limited to those over 18 metres.

The government explained that this money means hundreds more buildings where leaseholders and residents "have been forced by their freeholders to pay for costly fire safety patrols will now be able to install fire alarm systems instead at no cost to themselves, saving people on average £163 a month".  

The replacement fund is in addition to the £35 million Waking Watch Relief Fund (WWRF) which is supporting 323 buildings to replace the 24-hour fire patrol services.

Lord Greenhalgh said: “It’s unacceptable that innocent leaseholders are still facing fire risks in their own homes, let alone being subjected to the disgraceful misuse of rip-off measures at the hands of their building owners.

“The extra funding being made available today will be a huge relief to many being forced to pay unnecessary costs.

“However, fire alarms and Waking Watch are not long-term solutions. Industry must take responsibility and pay to fix their dangerous mistakes, and we are actively pursuing developers and manufacturers at fault to bring this scandal to an end.”

In buildings awaiting the completion of remediation works, leaseholders are currently paying for Waking Watches, patrolling the building in case of a fire.  

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Image credit | Shutterstock