This summary explains the new £18.6 million fund to pay for the costs of installing an alarm system in residential buildings to replace Waking Watch.
Applies to England
On 25 May 2023 the government announced a further £18.6 million to fund the installation of a common alarm system replacing waking watch measures in all residential buildings where a waking watch is currently in place in England, regardless of where the costs of the waking watch fall.
The fund builds on the £35 million Waking Watch Relief Fund (WWRF) which was focused on high-rise residential buildings (above 17.7 metres) with a waking watch in place (at cost to leaseholders) due to unsafe cladding, and the £27 million Waking Watch Replacement Fund 2022, which expanded eligibility to residential buildings of any height with a waking watch in place due to any fire safety defect.
The new £18.6 million fund extends financial support to more buildings and is aligned with guidance published by the National Fire Chief’s Council (NFCC) on buildings that change from a ‘Stay Put’ to a ‘Simultaneous Evacuation’ fire safety strategy.
1. Application guidance
Applications to the fund opened on 25 May 2023.
Applications to this fund should use this guidance: application form.and
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2. Who will benefit?
Leaseholders who may have faced high costs or delays in the implementation of interim safety measures by providing financial support and delivering a better, long-term fire safety system in their buildings.
3. Which buildings will be eligible?
The fund will cover the upfront capital costs of installing an alarm system. The common fire alarm system should generally be designed in accordance with the recommendations of BS 5839-1 for a Category L5 system, which is referred to in the NFCC’s revised guidance on simultaneous evacuation.
To be eligible:
the building must be located in England
the building must be a residential building
the building must have a Waking Watch in place
4. Will retrospective costs be considered?
The fund will cover the cost of alarms where installation work commenced on or after 25 May 2023.
5. Delivery of the fund
The fund will be administered centrally by DLUHC to all eligible buildings.
6. Waking Watch Relief Fund 2021
For those that applied to the 2021 Waking Watch Relief Fund, see further information and guidance:.
7. Waking Watch Replacement Fund 2022
For those that applied to the Waking Watch Replacement Fund 2022, see further information and guidance documents:.