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TRIO – The Responsibility Is Ours - July blog

TRIO – The Responsibility Is Ours - July blog

180022-FIRE-SAFETY-GRAPHICWhat a busy month it has been. It was sadly the 1st anniversary of the horrific events at Grenfell. BBC Radio Leeds ran an item about how things have, or haven’t changed, in the last 12 months. It was great to be able to show how proactive Together Housing have been with their tenants and responsibilities. You can hear the interview here:

I was also invited to a meeting of the Pennine Communities Federation of Tenants and Residents Associations. This was informative as I met a lot of other people from other blocks of flats. It was interesting to hear other people’s problems and what had happened. One of the issues raised was a gentleman who has hearing aids, who worries about not hearing any fire alarms. I asked him if he took them out at night, which most people do. He said yes. I let him know there is an amazing gadget called a Fire Angel, which looks like a small UFO. You place it under your pillow. It is connected to a box by the side of your bed and is also connected to the smoke detectors. If the detector goes off, a bright light comes on from the box and the UFO starts to vibrate, which in turn wakes you up. If you are worried and feel this could help you, these should be available through Gateway To Care in Halifax and from similar agencies in other areas.

I appreciate the fire safety decision made about mobility scooters has been very challenging, and to some, it seems ‘unfair’ after being able to ‘do it’ for many years. TRIO is hopefully there to help, as I believe it just isn’t the responsibility of the landlord or tenant to sort out, it is also the responsibility of agencies that support the tenants. If you are deemed to need a scooter by an agency and now you can’t charge it where you used to, surely the agency that accepts you need one has the responsibility of finding a work around, whether it be an alternative mode of transport to get you to the scooter or different aids.

The same responsibility could also be said for the service that takes away our rubbish. In Halifax, if you live in a house, you get a wheelie bin, free of charge to put your rubbish in. If you don’t have a wheelie bin, you are given 5 black bags, free of charge, to put your rubbish in. If you live in a high rise block you get nothing!! With carrier bags being at a premium, and black bags not fitting down the chute, just maybe they have a responsibility to help with bags that do fit down the chute to stop corridors and stairwells being used as dumping grounds, especially as high rise blocks are unable to recycle their food waste.

I can’t wait for the next Fire Safety meeting to explore these issues. If you have any, please get in touch with me at
As the title says, TRIO stands for The Responsibility Is Ours, and I truly believe in that. For people who live in high rise flats, it is imperative that we keep ourselves and others as safe as possible. One way of doing that is to keep Together Housing up-to-date with any problems or issues that could prevent you from getting out of the flats in a hurry, remembering that the lifts won’t be working. The posh word for them is PEEPs, which stands for Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan. The landlord makes these available to the Fire Service through the Fire Box, which is situated in the foyer of the block.

Do you live in a high rise block of flats? Try and imagine you are in your flat and the Fire Service knock on your door and advise you to leave. Would you need help? Would you struggle getting down all the steps without help? Do you need oxygen or other aids? If the answer to any of these is YES, you need to pass this on to keep YOU safe. At present you can do this online here or you can contact Together Housing.

TRIO would be quite happy to help high rise blocks hold a coffee morning twice a year to promote and help people update their records. If you are a member of a social group in a flat and would like to know more, please get in touch with me at or contact Together Housing or your Housing Officer who will get in touch for you.

To end this month’s blog, I want to mention a recent flat fire in Leeds. The video on the internet showed huge flumes of smoke coming out of the window. What it also showed was the flats either side, and above and below, were untouched!!! This proves, yet again to me, that if everyone is doing what they are responsible for, we will be safe.


In addition to the information in Justin’s blog, the Fire Angel deaf alarm system can be provided by the Fire Service in the West Yorkshire area. This is free of charge and includes a fire safety check of the home and a fireplan for the user. Please be aware that this service is given after an assessment and is generally done for people living alone. To apply for this service, please either make a request via the website - using the Safe & Well icon at the top right hand side of the homepage, or by telephoning 0800 587 4536.

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Justin is a tenant of Together Housing living in a high rise block of flats in Halifax

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