The Government have today (Dec 17) announced that £30m will be made available for lease holders to apply for in order to install fire alarms to replace their waking watches.
The new Waking Watch Relief Fund will pay for the installation of fire alarm systems in high-rise buildings with cladding, removing or reducing the need for costly interim safety measures such as ‘waking watch’.
Waking watches cost lease holders on average £137 per month, meaning that investment in effective fire detection systems can translate to a significant saving over months and years.
The National Fire Chiefs Council has been clear for some time now that lease holders should move away from their reliance on waking watches in favour of more reliable fire detection services.
Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, said:
“I’ve heard first-hand from leaseholders the misery that rip-off waking watch costs have been bringing to residents of high-rise buildings with cladding.
“I’m announcing today a £30m Waking Watch Relief Fund to help relieve the financial pressure on those residents and to ensure they are safe. I’m confident that this will make a real difference to worried leaseholders up and down the country this Christmas.
"We have continued to prioritise the removal of unsafe ACM cladding throughout the pandemic and expect around 95% of remediation work will have been completed or be underway by the end of this year."