We have been chasing some information on the installation of Gerda doors on Lockner. Some residents have had a private contracting company send letters and turn up to measure for instillation of these security doors. We haven’t been consulted about this, it is unclear who will pay for them, and we don’t know if we are obligated under our Lease to have them installed.
There have also been concerns raised by Lockner Residents Association in the past about the safety of these doors after the death of a resident on the estate, who was collapsed in the downstairs hallway, visible through the letterbox, needing emergency medical care. Ambulance, police and fire crew’s attended and could not get access to her home to reach her because of the Gerda door. Fire and police services explained that these doors were virtually impossible to get into and accessed the collapsed lady via a neighbours balcony and bedroom window.
Hackney Homes at the time suggested that a key is left with neighbours and in emergency residents should call the repair service centre for a specialist carpenter to be dispatched. We complained further and received the following reply in 2015 from Cllr Philip Glanville, Cabinet Member for Housing, and having escalated our concerns, did not take this matter any further.
“I note your suggestion that serious consideration be given to halting the installation of further Gerda doors until the training of the emergency services is complete. Hackney Homes have considered this matter and have also consulted Sean Whelan, Crime Prevention Officer, who is attached to Hackney Homes from the Metropolitan Police. Mr Whelan has advised caution at the suggestion that the safe door programme is halted, as the need for the emergency services to gain access needs to be balanced with ensuring the security of residents in their homes. However, he has made a number of proposals to put something in place to assist the emergency services gain access to save life and limb.
I will continue to monitor these issues closely. If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact Jim Paterson, Head of Building Maintenance.”
We will re visit this topic again and invite the appropraite person from Hackney Council to attend our next meeting to provide us with an update and hopefully provide some reassurance and answers.
If you would like further background information, feel free to email and we will happily provide it.
Tonights meeting was productive with the constitution and accounts being agreed, and saw some new faces. Minutes and an important update about cleaning on Lockner and how to sucessfully challenge increasing services charges to follow.