Fire Safety in Residential Blocks

In view of the recent tragic events we could all benefit from a check of our fire protection systems whatever type of property we reside in whether it is a house or a managed apartment block.

Whilst not common in most domestic dwellings the item of most importance is a smoke detector. Statistics show you are twice as likely to die in a house fire that has no smoke alarm than a house that does. Installing a smoke alarm could help save your home and the lives of you and your family.

Smoke alarms are self-contained devices that incorporate a means of detecting a fire (smoke detector) and giving a warning (alarm), usually a very loud beeping sound. They are about the size of a hand and are normally fitted to the ceiling. They can detect fires in their early stages and give you those precious minutes to enable you and your family to leave your house in safety. These can be purchased for as little as £3.95.

These require very little maintenance
• Vacuum it using a soft brush attachment to remove dust from the sensors.
• Test your smoke alarm each year. It is recommended by The Fire and Rescue Service that this is done when putting up the Christmas tree, in addition to this being a memorable day it is when extra flammable materials, decorative lights and tea lights and candles are being brought into the home.
• Once a year change the battery (unless it’s a ten-year alarm).
• After 10 years it’s best to get a whole new alarm.
If you live in an apartment block familiarise yourself with the location of fire extinguishers and the fire policy of that particular building be it an evacuation procedure and fire escape route or a “stay put” policy. This applies also to any building you visit or in Hotels you will find this information on back of your room door.
It is also important to be aware of the condition of all electrical appliances you operate.
• Check your sockets regularly – if you see burn marks or they feel hot, get a registered electrician to check them.
• Regularly check flexible cables on kettles and other similar appliances – look for signs of fraying cable, general wear and tear or a loose plug. Do this before you plug anything in. If you have any doubt have your appliances PAT tested by a qualified Electrician.
• Don’t overload adaptors or sockets.
• Also in communal areas only deposit rubbish in designated refuge bins for safe disposal as this creates a fire hazard.

Automatic sprinkler systems are used more than any other fixed fire protection system and over 40 million sprinklers are fitted worldwide every year.

Sprinkler systems have been in use for over 100 years. Possibly the oldest here in the UK was fitted in 1812 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and in an updated form is still in use today.

Sprinkler systems can be fitted during new build projects and Walton & Allen have retro fitted sprinkler systems during the refurbishment some Victorian houses on Mansfield Road, Nottingham. This was at a cost of approximately of £3,000 per property. This was a Building Control requirement as there are 2 or more floors more than 4.5 metres above ground level.

We at Walton & Allen test our fire alarm systems weekly and emergency lighting monthly in all our blocks to ensure correct performance. In addition a fixed wiring test (periodic inspection) is carried out at all of our buildings every 5 years as this is a legal requirement.

Finally, call the Fire and Rescue Service immediately if you smell burning that cannot be explained. They will have equipment such as thermal imaging cameras that will accurately detect objects that are overheating.

Many local Fire and Rescue Services will come to your home and carry out a Home Fire Risk Check to help keep you and your family safe. For more information on fire safety, visit www.direct.gov.uk/firekills, or contact your local Fire and Rescue Service (not 999).

Refitting The Third New Walton & Allen Estate Agents

Due to an ever-increasing demand Walton & Allen extended their estate agent portfolio by opening their third office, a satellite branch, in Hucknall.

Again Walton & Allen Construction & Maintenance Division were tasked with delivering the project on time and within budget.

Works commenced with vigour on Thursday 2nd June at 72 High Street, Hucknall by refitting an old Cash Converter shop into a futuristic cutting edge branch incorporating the very latest in technology.Hucknall Walton and Allen Branch

The initial works involved the removal of the existing partitions, which were formed to security standard construction incorporating secure door release, alarm and CCTV systems, this along with a security counter complete with a glazed payment system, was no easy task. All this work was complete in approximately 1 week and opened up the area ready to form the new branch.

Works then commenced with the first fix electrics, lighting and alarm systems followed by an initial coat of paint to give a feel for the finished article. The new suspended ceiling was fitted so we could start on the second fix lighting.

Walton & Allen can now offer Financial Services so we are now incorporating, in all of our branches, a Financial Services office so you can discuss your needs in private.Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 11.15.33

Works continued at speed with the flooring being laid, second fix electrics, signage and graphics installation with, lastly, decorating being completed.

Then followed the installation of the very latest groundbreaking technology, this incorporates the installation of a wireless computer system which is linked directly to the telephone
system. This allows the user to dial a number directly from a web page or from a person in our contact list negating the need to look up phone numbers, or having to write them down, as they can be saved straight into the system software. The new 46” touch screen display to the shopfront window was installed allowing customers to access the full portfolio of sales and lettings properties by touching the shopfront glass, similar to operating a smart phone, thus giving access 24/7 365 days a year.

When other Estate Agents are closed WALTON & ALLEN ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS.Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 16.59.34

Unlike traditional estate agents Walton & Allen are pushing the boundaries of technology to provide customer satisfaction. They are the first to offer Virtual Reality Zones in all branches using state of the art glasses customers can take a tour of a property without leaving their seat. Phil Williams, head of residential sales, says: “Virtual reality helps buyers compile a shortlist and it is good for sellers as they have people visit their property who are genuinely interested.”

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From start to finish this project ran very smoothly with all Sub-Contractors, Suppliers and our own Fitters Jay & Steve performing at the top of their game.

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The opening of the new branch in Hucknall attracted a healthy amount of interest from the general public.

Mark Spencer, MP for Sherwood, attended and was the first to experience our virtual reality zone.

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Walton & Allen Construction and Maintenance team use recycled rubber tyres to create sustainable flooring!

Walton & Allen Construction and Maintenance team use recycled rubber tyres to create sustainable flooring!

As well as being a leading estate and letting agents in Nottingham, Walton & Allen Estate Agents also have a very successful Construction and Maintenance business, offering a range of Construction and Maintenance services. We manage new and existing developments across Arnold, Nottingham City, the East Midlands and beyond, to our usual high standards!

In 2011, Walton & Allen Estate Agents were appointed to provide Construction and Maintenance services for Crusader House and George Street Apartment BLock, both in Nottingham. We quickly discovered that urgent repairs were needed to many of the balcony and terrace areas. The deterioration had caused water to get into the building, and there were health and safety issues around the stability and integrity of these areas.

Our Nottingham Construction and Maintenance team started work in August 2015 to renovate and refurbish the damaged areas. Working closely with our architect, we used an innovative method of resurfacing these balconies and terraces using recycled rubber tyres from transport vehicles.

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Just one of the terrace areas that was in desperate need of repair

As the demand for greener building designs, construction materials and building management services continues to grow in Nottingham developers and Construction and Maintenance teams are turning to many different solutions. Through our Construction and Maintenance services, we aim to reduce energy and water usage, improve insulation and avoid chemicals to reduce a building’s impact on the environment. The use of recycled tyre flooring is a less well-known aspect of green design, but can make a big difference to a building’s sustainability.

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The existing surface has been completely stripped, and the new felt and insulation are being applied

There are millions of discarded tyres worldwide and they are a massive problem. They’re often just left on the roadside and if they’re put into landfill, they can take decades to break down, taking up valuable landfill space.

Thankfully, our Construction and Maintenance team knows of companies that collect discarded tyres and turn them into recycled tyre flooring. Rubber is a natural material which is derived from the sap of rubber trees, then processed into the super-durable material we all know. Since it’s not made from chemicals and lasts a very long time, it is the ideal green building material. When it’s made from recycled tyres, the carbon footprint, environmental cost and price tag are even lower!

Of course, the main reason people love rubber flooring is because of its amazing properties: it’s lightweight – very important when used on multi-storey buildings with balconies, it lasts for years without scuffs and scratches, it needs no maintenance, and it naturally resists stains, water, dirt and mildew. Rubber flooring is the ultimate, no-fuss, eco-friendly floor material!

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The terrace area is finished complete with the new rubber tiles